New BMW iX3 2019: specs, prices and on-sale date

Very different to the i cars that have gone before, the BMW iX3 SUV marks a change in policy for BMW’s electrification drive

BMW iX3

Like pretty much every manufacturer, BMW has electrification near the top of its to-do list. One of the most important electric models it's planning is the BMW iX3 SUV, which is due to go on sale in 2019.

As is obvious from the pictures, this is effectively an electric version of the BMW X3. Our first glimpse of it came with the iX3 concept at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show (pictured).

That was enough to show that this rival for the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC marks a major change in BMW’s policy for its i cars.

Whereas the BMW i3 and BMW i8 were bespoke models, consciously designed to stand out, the iX3 is based on an existing model and looks similar to its more conventional siblings. 

BMW iX3 styling

We haven’t seen the final production car yet, but we’ve already seen disguised models out on test. And it’s clear that some of the more extreme design features from the concept won’t appear on the cars that you’ll see in a BMW showroom.

For example, it looks as if the front bumper will be smoother and the air intakes smaller in a bid to make the car more aerodynamically efficient. However, the overall shape remains very similar to that of the conventional X3. We’d expect the same story to continue inside, but BMW hasn’t yet released a picture of the car’s interior.

Battery, charging, range and electric motors

BMW hasn't published precise details of what'll drive the iX3, beyond saying that it’s the latest, fifth-generation eDrive electric technology. We know this includes denser batteries than before, but all the company will say about capacity is that it’s ‘over 70kWh’.

With BMW’s latest electric motor rated at 266bhp, we could be looking a total system output of well over 500bhp if BMW decides to fit a twin-motor all-wheel-drive system.

Range has also yet to be confirmed by any official tests, but BMW says the car will do 249 miles. That’s identical to the Audi e-tron, but behind both the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace, although the Tesla’s figures were achieved under the less stringent NEDC test.

Last, but not least, the iX3 will be ready to support 150kW fast charging when it arrives. That means if an iX3 owner has access to a charge point that can provide the right voltage, they’ll be able to charge their car to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes.

Price

Given that the iX3 is so far away from going on sale, it’s no surprise there’s no indication of price yet. However, we expect it'll cost significantly more than its conventionally powered equivalent, which starts at just under £40,000.