The BMW iX3 has barely arrived, and a facelift appears to be ready. While the pure electric variant is not even a year old, the Germans probably don’t want it to feel outdated when the restyled X3 hits the shelves this year, gauging from the pictures that have emerged from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
BMW has unveiled the X3 facelift and new X3 M facelift, and it could be planning to reveal the iX3 facelift in the third quarter of the year. Take a look at what we know so far on the updated electric SUV:
Subtle exterior changes
The restyled iX3 appears to have a slightly shorter kidney grille, and it features reshaped, flatter headlights with a new light graphic. The headlight cluster design is similar to that of the 2021 BMW 5 Series revealed last year. Unlike the current model, the new iX3 could be available with adaptive LED headlights with Matrix function. BMW Laser Light is also expected to be included in the list of optional extras. With the laser light option checked, the headlights should offer a high-beam range of up to 650 meters. Of course, power consumption would be considered when BMW decides to add new features to its electric vehicles as it impacts range.
While the bumpers and wheels of the electric SUV are purpose-built and functional in reducing aero drag, the 2022 model design is conventional with a wide ‘intake.’ The rear bumper is sportier, and the small pockets on the sides below the tail lamps are new. The tail lamps seem to have the same refreshed design as those of the new BMW X3, with a narrower light graphic that includes a 3D-modeled pincer contour and horizontal turn signals integrated in filigree style. Overall the design shifts from understated to heavy.
The 2022 BMW iX3 is likely in an M Sport variant with an exclusive front bumper featuring noticeably larger air inlets, high-gloss black inserts, and more pronounced air curtains. At the rear, too, there’s a sportier bumper with the lower section partly in high-gloss black, and tail lamps seem to be darkened units.
New AVN system
A significant change should be the upgrade from the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system to the larger, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system of the 2022 BMW X3 facelift (pictured below). Unlike the current unit, it should offer Amazon Alexa integration, which allows customers to control their smart home devices from the vehicle conveniently on the go.
No iX3 xDrive variant yet
While the auto media speculated about a new dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration that would make the iX3 an appealing product in countries with challenging climatic conditions and terrains, the model declaration chart shows that the iX3 facelift continues in the 210 kW version.
Q3 2021 launch
It is safe to assume that, like the original, the new iX3 will go on sale first in China, probably in late 2021. European countries, including the EV-focused markets like Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany, may have to wait until the end of this year to receive the first batch of the new model.
Here’s everything you need to know about the currently running BMW iX3:
The exterior of the BMW X3 comes through largely unscathed following the ‘electric’ conversion. Blue accents around the vehicle symbolise the fact that it is Electric. The front apron and the classic BMW kidney grille have an enclosed design. The front and rear have been resculpted to reduce drag and increase aerodynamic efficiency. The wheels have a more aerodynamic design, which reduces the drag coefficient by around 5 per cent and adds around 10 km to the range (WLTP cycle). All the aerodynamic advancements together give the BMW iX3 a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29.
The BMW iX3 has the practicality and spaciousness associated with an SUV. A 40:20:40 split seat arrangement allows increasing the luggage capacity from 510 to a maximum of 1,560 litres. BMW debuts the BMW IconicSounds showcased in the i4 concept in the production BMW iX3. This function, developed with Hollywood music composer Hans Zimmer, provides acoustic feedback with a sound pattern to every driving action, increasing involvement and keeping the driver alert and aware of his actions. For example, when the Start/Stop button is pressed, the speakers play a short melody. The Blue accents continue their way inside the cabin, further emphasizing the SUV’s eco-friendly character.
BMW iX3 customers have a choice of two available trim lines, namely Inspiring and Impressive, which could be reconfigured when the 2022 model is released.
The Inspiring trim line is well equipped with a list of tech features. It includes LED headlights, a panoramic glass sunroof, 19-inch wheels, a power boot door, ambient lighting, electrically adjustable seats with a memory function for the driver and a three-zone automatic climate control system including pre-heating and pre-conditioning function.
Then there are also several driver aids such as Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go functionality, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning, front and rear parking sensors, a tyre pressure indicator and an alarm system. BMW Live Cockpit Professional with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, and so is wireless charging.
The higher Impressive trim features 20-inch wheels, Adaptive LED headlights, a head-up display, High Beam Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus, including a rearview camera. On the inside, users get acoustic glazing for the front door windows, Vernasca leather trim and front sports seats with lumbar support. BMW gesture control and a Harman Kardon surround sound system also come included.
The BMW X3 Electric crossover is equipped with an 80 kWh (74 kWh useable) Lithium-ion battery pack supplied by CATL. It can return a range of up to 460 km in a single charge in the WLTP cycle. The battery supports fast-charging up to 150 kW, where drivers can charge it to its full capacity in just 34 minutes.
The fifth-gen BMW eDrive technology that powers the iX3 is built on a flexible architecture that can be used for front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. The electric motor, transmission and power electronics are grouped into a single component, making it easier to integrate into different vehicle layouts. The BMW eDrive technology has lower weight, scalability and compact construction that can be utilized in different ways, thanks to the flexible modular design. A further highlight is its electric motor that does not use rare earth in the construction.
The BMW iX3 is powered by a single electric motor mounted at the rear, generating 210 kW/286 PS of maximum power and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft). This allows the SUV to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.8 seconds. BMW claims the power density of the electric motor in the BMW iX3 is 30 per cent greater than other fully electric vehicles from BMW. Top speed is electronically limited to 180 km/h (112 mph). The claimed range is 460 km (285 miles) in the WLTP test cycle and up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle. BMW could improve the range slightly in the first update.
The BMW iX3 can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in 34 minutes. 10 minutes of charging can add 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the car’s driving range. For more charging time details, refer to the specification table at the end of this story.
The BMW iX3 is offered with the newly developed Flexible Fast Charger cable and can be hooked up to both standard domestic and industrial sockets by using adapters. Customers can purchase Smart Wallbox available which can be integrated into an existing home management system and allows tracking power consumption and usage.
To optimise range and efficiency, features like the E-Route function offers recommendations for mid-journey stops to charge the high-voltage battery. It calculates the distance to the next charging station and also provides useful information about those charging stations.
Adaptive recuperation function enhances the efficiency of the BMW iX3. The intensity of the Brake Energy Regeneration system is modified constantly to the road situation described by data from the navigation system and the driver assistance system sensors.
BMW says that the electric powertrain hasn’t dampened the handling characteristics of the X3. The battery pack lowers the SUV’s centre of gravity by around 7.5 centimetres, enhancing its lateral dynamics. The BMW iX3 also gets standard adaptive suspension that includes electronically controlled Dampers. Customers can opt for an optional Adaptive M suspension tuned to deliver a particularly sporty damper response. The ARB traction system, also found in the BMW i3, offers high levels of traction in adverse weather conditions and loose grounds.
Production of the BMW iX3 takes place at the BBA (BMW Brilliance Automotive) plant in Dadong (Shenyang), China. While the 1 Series Sedan was the first made-in-China BMW to be exported (to Mexico, in 2018), the iX3 is the first China-made BMW SUV to be shipped overseas.
While the BMW iX3 underwent testing, the production team at BBA JV Plant at Dadong, Shenyang (China), started preparing for production concurrently. The team at Dadong began assembling BMW X3 electric pre-production vehicles in the middle of 2019 in the same line that manufactures the BMW X3 combustion models.
The BBA JV plant uses sophisticated technologies like the new custom high-voltage battery installation and AI part monitoring to ramp up the production rate and maintain quality. The Sino-German JV company manufactures the BMW iX3 on the same line as the BMW X3. Series production of the BMW iX3 had begun on 29 September 2020, and exports commenced on 11 November 2020.
In January 2021, BMW cut the prices of the iX3. The revised price stands at 399,900 yuan to 439,900 yuan. In Germany, the iX3 was delivered in January at EUR 68,040.33 for the Inspiring and EUR 73,401.68 for the Impressive trim.
In early March 2020, BMW had confirmed that the iX3 would not be sold in all global markets. The focus area for the electric SUV is China and Europe. Surprisingly, the USA, BMW’s second-biggest market (in sales volumes), will not be receiving the BMW iX3. It is believed that the absence of an all-wheel drive system, the regulatory pressure in the EU to curb emissions that gets the preference during allocation planning, and the lack of a high-spec BMW iX3 variant are the reasons for the decision.
|BMW iX3 Specifications||Figures|
|No of doors/seats||5 / 5|
|Length/width/height (unladen) mm||4734 / 1891 / 1668|
|Turning circle||12.1 m|
|Weight, unladen (DIN/EU) kg||2185 / 2260|
|Max load to DIN kg||540 kg|
|Max permissible weight||2725 kg|
|Max axle load- front / rear||940 / 1040 kg|
|Max trailer load braked/ unbraked||750 / 750 kg|
|Max roofload /max towbar|
|100 / 75 kg|
|Luggage comp capacity||510 – 1560 litres|
|Motor Technology||Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology:|
current-excited synchronous electric motor, power electronics and single-speed transmission sharing the same housing, generator function for recuperating energy
|Max output kW / hp||210 / 286|
|Continuous output kW / hp||80 / 109|
|Max torque||400 Nm|
|Max rev speed||17000 rpm|
|Battery capacity||232 Ah|
|Energy capacity, gross||80.0 kWh|
|Energy capacity, net||74.0 kWh|
|Charging time for 100 % charge||7.5 h at 11 kW (16 A/ 230 V, three-phase AC|
|Charging time for 80% charge||34 min at 150 kW (DC, fast-charging station)|
|Type||Combined Charging Unit (CCU) with built-in 4 kW voltage transformer for supplying power to the 12 V electrical system|
|Max charging rate alternating current (AC), single-phase||7.4 kW|
|Max charging rate alternating current (AC), three-phase||11.0 kW|
|Max charging rate direct current (DC)||150 kW|
|Suspension, front||Double-joint spring strut axle in aluminium construction|
|Suspension, rear||Five-link axle in lightweight steel construction|
|Brakes, front||Vented disc brakes, with single-piston floating calipers|
|Brakes, rear||Vented disc brakes, with single-piston floating calipers|
|Driving stability systems||Standard: DSC incl. ABS, ASC and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), ARB (near-actuator wheel slip limitation) technology, CBC (Cornering Brake Control), DBC (Dynamic Brake Control), Dry Braking function, fading compensation, Start-Off Assistant, HDC (Hill Descent Control), trailer stability control, Performance Control, adaptive suspension|
|Safety equipment||Standard: airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front and rear seats, three-point inertia-reel seatbelts on all seats with belt stopper, belt tensioner and belt force limiter in the front, crash sensors, tyre pressure indicator|
|Steering||Electric Power Steering (EPS)|
with Servotronic function
|Steering ratio, overall||16.8|
|Tyres, front/rear||245/50 R19 105W XL|
|Rims, front/rear||7.5J x 19 aluminium|
|Type of transmission||Automatic transmission, single-speed with fixed ratio|
|Power-to-weight ratio (DIN, based on max output)||10.4 kg / kW|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||6.8 secs|
|0-60 km/h||3.7 secs|
|Top speed (km/h)||180 (electronically limited)|
|Angle of approach/departure||23.1 / 20.9|
|Ground clearance when unladen||179 mm|
|Fording depth ( at 7 km/ h)||500 mm|
|Electric power consumption / range in WLTP test cycle||Figures|
|Electric power consumption combined||19.5 – 18.5 kWh/100 km|
|Range||up to 460 km|
|Electric power consumption /|
range in NEDC test cycle
|Electric power consumption combined||17.8 – 17.5 kWh/100 km|
|Range||up to 520 km|
|Emissions rating||Electric vehicle|
|C02 Life Cycle Assessment when charging with green|
electricity for the use phase, compared to BMW X3 20d
|CO2 Life Cycle Assessment|
when charging with EU28
electricity mix for the use phase,
compared to BMW X3 20d
BMW is plotting pure electric variants of the BMW 3 Series & 5 Series, a BMW X1 electric (BMW iX1), and a BMW 7 Series electric (BMW i7) to further expand its EV range to 12 models by 2022.
Featured Image Source: miit.gov.cn