BMW pioneered many electric car segments. Yet it’s not until now that it reveals a competitor for the most popular. The BMW iX3 marks BMW’s first attempt at an all-electric SUV.

It is also the first time BMW has applied BMW I technology in a model from the BMW core brand. Of course, the BMW iX3 is a variety of BMW’s X3 model range. As such, the X3 is now available with a petrol or diesel engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or all-electric drive system.

The BMW iX3 is the first BMW to be produced for export at its Shenyang manufacturing facility in China. The majority of BMW’s X3 range is built elsewhere at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, United States.

The BMW iX3 benefits from progress with BMW’s core electric systems. Power density is increased by 30 per cent over the BMW Group’s existing fully electric vehicles. Operating range, weight, installation space requirement and flexibility are all improved.

BMW has worked on packaging of its parts. Electric motor, power electronics and transmission are all arranged in a central housing for the first time.

The electronic motors produce 286 hp and 400 Nm of torque. It hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). The majority of the power is routed to the rear for a proper BMW experience.

The batteries carry the iX3 a respectable 460 kilometres (285 miles) in the statutory new WLTP test cycle (up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle).

It uses Active Recuperation too, alongside Brake Energy Regeneration. At the suspension end, Adaptive suspension comes as standard.

BMW has opted to install a sound generator, named BMW IconicSounds Electric. The press release claims it has been developed in collaboration with Hans Zimmer. It will be interesting to see hear what this sounds like.

Thankfully, the BMW iX3 also gets a more conventional look than some of BMW’s other contemporary models. Key features include a new grille, re-designed front facia, blue accents and a re-designed rear apron.

Otherwise, the BMW iX3 contains all of the usual interior refinements. BMW Live Cockpit Professional with BMW Maps cloud-based navigation system and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, all standard.

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