BMW is updating its oft-forgotten electric “sports activity vehicle,” the iX3. I guess it’s a bit of unexpected good news for drivers in the EU who just can’t wait for the iX to come out, but find themselves in need of an electric SAV with a roundel on it. This latest BEV is for the EU only; no U.S. plans were announced.
The iX3 is the Bavarian BEV car that absolutely no one sees coming, in more ways than one. Not the least of which is that the iX3 is nearly identical to its ICE twin, the X3, with the usual blue EV bits and lack of grill slats to set it apart.
The iX3 is little more than an X3 with batteries bolted beneath:
The updated iX3's drivetrain rides over its rear axle, and the electric motor makes about 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. Its 80 kWh battery will get up to 286 miles, which you may notice is actually more than the iX xDrive40. That’s good. The new iX3 also gets updated exterior design, new wheels, and a mild refresh to the interior.
All of that will cost €67,300 or just a hair over $79,000 in Germany, with taxes.
Overall, the iX3 is a stark reminder that BMW is lagging behind its rivals when it comes to EVs. The carmaker thinks it can change that with the release of the iX, according to a report from the New York Times. It’s not clear that the polarizing design of the iX will help BMW out of the rut it’s stuck in.
It’s bleak considering how novel the i8 was when it debuted. A hybrid car with performance like an M3 blew me away. Yes, that was a hybrid but back then it hinted at a futuristic approach and a radical direction. Hell, even the i3 had unconventional design that wasn’t everyone’s favorite, but was original at least.
BMW was on the cusp of exceeding its awesome hybrids, maybe with a BEV but the carmaker lost its momentum. It just kind of...stopped. It wasn’t until way later that the i4 and the iX would be announced. This new iX3 once again shows that BMW is doing too little, too late as the EV wave starts to crest.