BMW IS ready to send shockwaves through the SUV market, when it launches a new electric SUV to take on Jaguar’s I-Pace.
The German car maker revealed a concept for its first all-electric SUV at this week’s Beijing motor show in China, where sales of plug-in cars are surging as the nation strives to tackle high levels of air pollution.
The iX3 is pure-electric, rather than a plug-in hybrid like BMW’s existing i8 or i3 REX. The iX3 is said to hold more than 70kWh of electricity, offering a claimed driving range of nearly 250 miles.
The iX3 will be capable of accepting a rapid charge of up to 150kW — three times faster than most existing rapid charging posts currently available in the UK — meaning when on a long journey, drivers can top-up its battery from empty to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
It looks much like the latest X3 SUV, only the front of the car has been given a different treatment — said to improve the car’s aerodynamic performance. The electric motor produces a claimed 268bhp.
BMW says the new model will be built in China, in partnership with Brilliance Auto, and when it goes on sale – by 2020 – it will compete with the I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQ C. That suggests it will cost in the region of £60,000.
The iX3 is just one of 12 new electric cars that the German company will bring to showrooms by 2025, and its announcement follows the UK government’s decision to ban traditional diesel and petrol new cars from showrooms by 2040.