The new fully electric BMW iX3, which had its world premiere today, will launch in Australia this November.
The new model showcases an updated styling package both for the exterior and interior as part a sweeping update to the entire X3 line-up for the MY22 model year.
The iX3 will also be fitted as standard with the M Sport package, accentuating its sporting aura and presence.
In addition, the iX3 will be built with a holistic approach to sustainability as a key focus.
Objectives as part of this strategy span the entire lifecycle of the vehicle, from the procurement of raw materials via the supply chain through to production, its usage phase and recycling.
The amount of the raw material cobalt used in the high-voltage battery of the BMW iX3 has been reduced by around a third compared with the previous-generation battery in the 2019 BMW i3 model.
The BMW Group adopted its own procurement process for the cobalt and lithium it supplies to the producers of the battery cells, part of which involves monitoring compliance with environmental and social standards.
Renewable energy is used both for the manufacture of the battery cells and in the production of the vehicle.
The BMW-specific design principle that underpins the electric motor dispenses with the need for rare-earth metals in the rotor.
Extensive use of secondary raw materials in the manufacture of aluminium castings and thermoplastics helps the BMW Group achieve its goals in cutting CO2 emissions and promoting the circular economy.
Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology sets tone for the future
The BMW iX3 blazes a trail for driving pleasure in a new generation of electric vehicles from the BMW i brand.
It is the first model to feature the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. This system will also be found on the BMW iX, which launches in Q4 this year and the BMW i4, which will arrive locally in Q1, 2022.
Its integrated drive unit brings the electric motor, power electronics and transmission together within a single housing, and generates 210kW and 400Nm.
The iX3 also features rear-wheel-drive – a hallmark BMW characteristic that carries over seamlessly into the world of EVs.
The high-voltage battery in the BMW iX3 is also the product of fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology.
Its gross energy content of 80kWh and the exceptional efficiency of the electric motor enable a range of up to 460 kilometres as calculated on the WLTP test cycle.
Flexible vehicle architecture with array of practicality features
The new BMW iX3’s sure-footed and safe driving characteristics are the result of an outstandingly well resolved overall design.
It shares the rugged versatility of the conventionally powered BMW X3 variants, provides generous levels of space for five occupants, has a load compartment whose capacity can be expanded from 510 litres to a maximum 1,560 litres, and brings the allure of emissions-free driving pleasure.
The flexible vehicle architecture of the BMW X3 makes it the brand’s first model to be offered with highly efficient petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid drive system or fully electric drive. This is also unique in the segment.
Production of the new BMW iX3 will commence at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture’s Shenyang facility in China in September 2021 with local deliveries to commence two months later.
Exterior design details convey style, sporting intent and sustainability elements
With its powerful proportions, precise lines and clear sculpted surfaces, the new BMW iX3 is every inch the modern Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
Colour accents in BMW i Blue, a largely enclosed BMW kidney grille and light-alloy wheels with optimised aerodynamics signify the presence of a purely electric drive system and a vehicle concept focused squarely on sustainability.
The characteristic blend of sporty driving pleasure and exceptional efficiency is showcased even more vividly in the exterior design.
The BMW kidney grille, a centrepiece of the front design, is now more striking than while being encased in a single-piece frame.
This comes in pearl-effect chrome with a blue accent – in familiar BMW i style – along the inner edges. The inner surfaces of the kidney grille elements have a mesh-like structure and feature a BMW i badge.
The new contours of the headlights, which are around 10 millimetres slimmer than on the previous model, also help to provide the new BMW iX3 its visually striking looks.
This lends the front end a distinct similarity to that of the BMW iX and BMW i4 electric models.
The new iX3 is also fitted as standard with Adaptive LED Headlights with matrix function including variable light distribution and non-dazzling High Beam Assistant.
Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Laserlight can be specified as an option. At speeds above 60 km/h, the dynamic Laserlight module increases high-beam range to a maximum of 650 metres and follows the course of the road.
Blue inlays in the L-shaped light elements of the daytime driving lights identify its inclusion. The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car was the first production vehicle to feature the sophisticated laser light technology in 2014.
M Sport package included as standard
The M Sport package provides the iX3 a commanding road presence and begins with a prominent three-dimensional surface design for the front apron.
The lower air intake, which comes with 10-stage active air flap control to cool the drive system components and brakes, has gained in size. The air curtains positioned at the outer edges of the front end are now L-shaped and carry blue accents.
The air breathers in the front side panels additionally feature a M-specific design, while muscular and aerodynamically optimised surfacing marks out the rear apron.
The rear design is characterised by rear diffuser elements finished in Frozen Grey or optional BMW i Blue, while contours of the LED rear lights are in black.
Slim light graphic and three-dimensional pincer-shaped contouring with delicately integrated horizontal turn signal indicators enhance the iX3’s rear design in low light conditions.
The BMW iX3 will be offered in Australia with 20-inch aerodynamic wheels as standard.
These new wheels help provide the vehicle its low drag coefficient figure of just 0.29 while delivering a premium appearance with their Y-spoke, bicolour design.
Driving pleasure and cabin controls further enhanced for new model
The sporting nature of the BMW iX3 stands out prominently in the cabin.
Sport seats trimmed in leather ‘Vernasca’ upholstery are fitted as standard, while a modern control panel in the centre console and restyled controls in the centre of the instrument panel add to the vehicle’s progressive, premium ambience.
BMW Live Cockpit Professional is fitted as standard and includes a control display whose screen diagonal has been increased to an impressive 12.3 inches.
Blue accents applied to the Start/Stop button – which is now located in the centre console – as well as the gear selector lever and the BMW emblem on the steering wheel allude to the pure-electric drive system at the heart of the BMW iX3.
Other model-specific cues include the model lettering on the centre console and door sill plates bearing the BMW i logo.
Elements in the instrument cluster and control display screens also reflect the presence of the highly advanced electric drive system.
Standard-fitment ambient lighting additionally features BMW i blue illumination in its default setting.
Start/Stop sound courtesy of an Academy Award winner
The new BMW iX3 comes as standard with a Start/Stop acoustic sequence developed as part of a collaboration between Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and BMW Group Creative Director Sound, Renzo Vitale.
When the Start/Stop button is pressed, a short composition sets the scene for the electric driving experience in store.
Sharp dynamics combine with refined road manners
The new BMW iX3 brings together typical BMW sportiness with a high level of comfort.
The acceleration potential of the all-electric powertrain with its immediate power delivery is complemented by precise handling, outstanding cornering dynamics and optimised traction.
Positioning of the high-voltage battery unit between the axles provides a centre of gravity 7.5cm lower than that of a conventionally powered BMW X3.
In addition, the vehicle benefits from a wide track on the front and rear axles, model-specific wheel camber settings for the five-link rear suspension and a balanced axle load distribution.
The optimised aerodynamic properties of the body and its high structural rigidity also contribute to a high level of engagement.
Driving dynamics are further enhanced with the fitment of adaptive suspension as standard.
Highly integrated drive system with electrically excited electric motor
The fifth generation BMW eDrive unit brings together the electric motor, power electronics and transmission within a single housing.
This highly integrated electric drive system topology located in the model-specific rear axle subframe allows a substantial reduction in both the installation space required and the weight of the components relative to the power they produce.
This has brought about an increase in power density of around 30 per cent compared with the BMW eDrive technology previously featured in electrified models.
The electric motor in the new BMW iX3 works according to the principle of an electrically excited synchronous motor and therefore differs significantly from other solutions on the market. The excitation of the rotor is not induced by fixed permanent magnets but rather the feed-in of electric power.
This design allows the rare earth metals required for magnetic components to be avoided entirely in the manufacture of the rotor.
The latest version of the electric motor also demonstrates efficiency of up to 93 per cent – an increase of 53 per cent on modern combustion engines.
The drive system can rev to 17,000rpm and generates maximum output of 210kW, which is produced early and can be sustained over a wide rev band.
The motor’s peak torque of 400Nm can be summoned from rest thanks to thoughtfully managed excitation of the rotor and is likewise maintained into the upper reaches of the rev range.
The motor’s drive power is transferred along the shortest possible path to the single-ratio transmission, which is installed in the same housing, and from there to the rear wheels.
In the process, advanced driving stability control technology, including the near-actuator wheel slip limitation technology that was first featured on the BMW i3, helps to sustain forward momentum even in adverse road and weather conditions.
The new BMW iX3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 180km/h.
High-voltage, high-capacity battery
The high-voltage battery in the new BMW iX3 is based on the latest Nickel-rich technology familiar from other BMW applications.
The lithium-ion battery is composed of 188 individually controllable, prismatic battery cells – each cased in aluminium – which are grouped into 10 modules. The battery is positioned low down in the vehicle floor as an integral component of the body.
The new-generation battery has a gross energy content of 80kWh, of which 74kWh is utilised, giving it an advanced mass-to-capacity ratio.
The high-voltage battery’s outstanding energy density, the electric motor’s outstanding efficiency, the adaptive recuperation function, a weight-minimising design and the reduction in the body’s aerodynamic drag add up to an all-encompassing sustainability concept and impressive capabilities in everyday use and over long-distance journeys.
The BMW iX3 therefore differs significantly from other electric vehicles in its segment whose range is boosted mostly by adoption of larger high-voltage batteries. These impact negatively on the vehicle’s weight and, by extension, its overall efficiency.
Adaptive recuperation enhances efficiency and comfort
The BMW iX3 comes fitted with an innovative adaptive recuperation system that optimises its range while delivering a high level of comfort.
Intensity of the Brake Energy Regeneration is adapted to the road situation via input from the BMW driver assistance system sensors.
If the iX3 determines a junction or vehicle is ahead, it will engage the full level of recuperation, increasing the deceleration effect and using the electric motor to return energy to the battery.
On the open road where intersections and vehicles are less prevalent, the vehicle engages its coasting function. However, it will intelligently intervene when required during this mode by initiating recuperation when the turn indicators are activated.
Adaptive recuperation is enabled when the driving position D is engaged using the selector lever on the centre console. The driver can also select a high, medium or low Brake Energy Regeneration setting in the iDrive menu to suit their needs or style.
When driving position B is selected, the distinctive one-pedal feeling characteristic of BMW Group’s electric vehicles is brought to the fore thanks to the implementation of maximum energy recuperation.
Combined Charging Unit for fast charging at up to 150kW
The Combined Charging Unit (CCU) in the new BMW iX3 enables an extremely high level of flexibility when it comes to using charging stations of different types.
When using alternating current (AC) terminals, the CCU enables single-phase charging at up to 7.4kW and three-phase charging at up to 11kW. Plugging the vehicle into a direct current (DC) fast-charging station allows it to take energy on board at a rate of up to 150kW.
With the iX3 plugged into a BMW Wallbox – the new generation of which will arrive in Australia in Q4 – the high-voltage battery can be charged from 0 to 100 per cent in 7.5 hours. A DC fast-charging station, meanwhile, can replenish the battery from 10 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in 32 minutes. A 10-minute charge at one of these stations provides enough power to add 100 kilometres to the driving range on the WLTP cycle.
Owners can take advantage of a five-year complimentary subscription to the Chargefox network, which is expanding rapidly with addition of new sites across Australia. Chargefox also offers high speed charging, with a significant proportion of its network featuring fast DC or Ultra Rapid (350kW) chargers.
Connected charging with new features in My BMW app
The new My BMW app, which launched earlier this year, includes enhanced functionality for electric vehicles.
Extensive information on charging history, charging process and control of charging and climate settings are fully integrated.
It is also possible to receive push notifications, such as when the vehicle is fully charged.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto fully integrated
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are seamlessly integrated as part of BMW Live Cockpit Plus.
The iX3 provides the platform for Apple CarPlay to offer a wide range of digital services such as the Siri digital voice service, various map apps, music streaming services such as Apple Music or the WhatsApp messaging service.
The systems are integrated directly into the display and control system through a wireless connection via WLAN between the respective smartphone and the vehicle.
The driver can view important information from the apps shown on the centre control display, in the instrument cluster and on the standard-fitment BMW Head-Up Display (HUD).
Wireless Android Auto offers simple and safe use of smartphone functions such as music, media or messaging apps while driving. With the help of the Google Assistant, occupants can interact with the vehicle via a smartphone and the actions shown on the vehicle’s info display. Highlights of the interaction between Android Auto and BMW are the convenient wireless networking and the intelligent integration of Google Maps navigation instructions in the HUD.
Driver assistance systems with unique functions
The BMW iX3 is supported by a comprehensive array of driver assistance systems fitted as standard, including the highly advanced Reversing Assistant.
Driving Assistant Professional, which comes as standard, includes Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, Steering and Lane Control Assistant with active lane guidance, Crossing-traffic Warning for front and rear, Evasion Assistant, Crossroads Warning with city braking function and Speed Limit Assist.
The Parking Assistant Plus system integrates a range of features to aid in convenient and safe manoeuvring in tight and awkward spaces while also protecting the vehicle. The networked offering includes Park Assist, Active Park Distance Control, lateral parking aid, Reversing Assistant, Surround View system and Remote 3D View.
In addition, the iX3 is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection. This system uses a virtual sound generator located on the vehicle exterior that emits a sound when driving at speeds of up to 30km/h to warn pedestrians and cyclists of the iX3’s presence.
Local specification and pricing
The BMW iX3 will arrive in Australia carrying a high level of standard equipment features.
Standard specification is as follows:
- M Sport Package, featuring M high gloss Shadow Line roof rails and window décor strips
- Panorama glass sunroof
- 20″ M light alloy wheels Y-spoke style 890 M Bicolour with mixed standard tyres
- Complimentary Chargefox 5-year unlimited Fast and Ultra Rapid charging subscription
- Model 2 Domestic charger
- Model 3 Public charging cable
- Vehicle pre-heating/pre-conditioning
- BMW IconicSounds Electric
- BMW Head-up Display
- Adaptive LED headlights incl. High Beam Assistant
- Adaptive Suspension
- Driving Assistant Professional
- Parking Assistant Plus, including Reversing Assistant
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
- Automatic climate control
- Leather ‘Vernasca’ Upholstery
- Instrument panel in Sensatec
- Sport seats for driver and front passenger, electrically heated
- Electric seat adjustment, including lumbar support for driver
- Interior ambient lighting package
- Galvanic embellishers for controls
- Reclining function for second seating row
- Comfort Access, featuring BMW Digital Key
- Automatic tailgate operation
- Through-loading system
- Storage compartment package
- BMW Live Cockpit Professional featuring BMW Operating System 7
- Connected Package Professional
- Smartphone Integration
- harman/kardon 16-speaker surround sound system
- Wireless Charging for smartphone
- DAB+ digital radio
- Gesture control
|Option||Price (inc. GST and LCT)|
– M Lights Shadow Line
– Sun Protection glazing
– M high-gloss Shadow Line (kidney grille surround)
Note: Not available with BMW Laserlight
|Max. DC fast charge||150kW|
|Range from 10 min public charging station @ max. DC fast charge
From battery charge of 10 per cent
|Public charging 150kW max. DC
10-80 per cent charge
|Public charging 50kW DC
0-80 per cent charge
|BMW i Wallbox Plus
11kW AC three-phase
0-100 per cent charge
|BMW i Wallbox Plus
7.4kW AC single-phase
0100 per cent charge
|BMW i Wallbox Plus
3.7kW AC single-phase
0-100 per cent charge
|Domestic charging cable
1.8kW AC single-phase
0-100 per cent charge
Note: All charging times listed in table are approximate
BMW iX3 line-up
*Recommended Retail Pricing is shown and includes GST and LCT but excludes on-road costs. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing enquiries.