BMW premiered its first fully electric SUV or as they prefer to call it, an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), the iX3. This launch will kick-start the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology. The goal here was to combine emission-free driving with sporting ability and a touch of BMW’s signature comfort and space. The tech was apparently engineered to optimise efficiency and size of components used in electric cars while simultaneously improving performance and power output. You’re probably wondering ‘just another electric car, what’s the big deal?’ Well, other than being BMW’s first fully electric SUV, there are some nifty innovations in here too.
5th Gen eDrive and integrated systems
The iX3 uses the latest in electric motors, battery and charging technologies to boost performance and efficiently handle electric power consumption (17.8-17.5 kWh/100 km). It fits the current requirements of the electric vehicle segment and then some. They claim that the electric motor, transmission and power electronics are set in a single housing. The electric motor used here works with the principle of a current-excited synchronous motor, without the use of magnets. The 150kW output at their fast-charging station facilities will be able to charge 80% of the battery’s total capacity in 34 minutes.
BMW says the power density of the electric motor is 30% greater than that of existing electric BMW vehicles in their global garage. The system has a maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp and maximum torque of 400 Nm.
The marque claims that the machine can accelerate 0-100 km/h in a whooping 6.8 seconds( I mean for an SUV, come on). Try that on for speed.
Thanks to its optimised efficiency and output, the iX3 will be able to cover longer distances with ease. The introduction of the ‘Brake Energy Regeneration’ is sure to enhance driving experience. It adapts according to the data received from the navigation system and driver assistance system sensors. Due to the slimmer sizes, space usage and architecture, the car’s centre of gravity is lowered by approx. 7.5 cm ( compared to the other X3) which benefits the lateral dynamics. The SUV also utilises an electronically controlled damper that adapts to terrains and other situations, providing good ride comfort.
Design and ambience
It sports all the elements of an SAV in structure with an enclosed grille design. New aerodynamically designed light-alloy wheels help control air flow around the car and reduce its drag coefficient by around 5% (as opposed to other conventional alloy wheels) thanks to inserts in the V-spoke base wheel.
There will be two equipment lines available- “Inspiring” and “Impressive”. The interior has a premium ambience and ample space. The folding rear seat backrest can further increase load capacity from 510 to a maximum 1,560 litres.
The iX3 provides acoustic feedback to add depth to the driving experience as well (‘load changes’ for different driving states, like braking). The simulated Start/Stop sound( a short composition) is the result of cooperation with composer Hans Zimmer.
The market launch will take place later in 2020. With a worldwide demand for electric premium cars, BMW believes this is the right time for the iX3’s arrival. Though with an increase in SUV releases, can it compete with the likes of ICE SUV’s? Not to mention the hugely successful Tesla SUVs along with the upcoming Audi e-tron. Only time will tell. This is the rise of the SUVs indeed.