Prior to its eventual reveal, BMW has released some preliminary specs on its upcoming electric crossover, the iX3. Of course, these aren’t final numbers but they’re likely to be at least close to the official specs that the production-ready car will have. If the newly released specs are close to accurate, I’m starting to get cautiously optimistic BMW iX3.
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When it debuts, the BMW iX3 will have a 74 kWh battery pack with a range of over 440 km (273 miles), which is certainly quite competitive. It’s not the best range of any electric car on the market but it’s right in the mix with the best of them. Plus, it’s far more than anyone will actually need on a regular basis.
Admittedly, while its range is impressive, it doesn’t combine that with the power or performance of a Tesla, for instance. So it will get a single electric motor at the rear axle, which will develop about 286 hp. That’s not too shabby, and is more powerful than the BMW X3 xDrive30i, but it’s not going to blow any minds in terms of performance. Having said that, I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be more than the sum of its parts.
The BMW X3 has good bones. It’s a good chassis that’s surprisingly enjoyable to drive for an SUV. It also has much better steering than enthusiasts might expect. So free that steering up from a powered front axle and it will only get better; the steering will be less corrupted, the front end will be lighter and turn-in will become sharper. Also, having the electric motor at the rear wheels will keep BMW’s typical rear-drive feel, while simultaneously delivering instantaneous electric torque. Hell, it might even do great burnouts.
On paper, the BMW iX3 seems okay. It has decent power, solid range and some nice tech. However, I think that it has the makings of a very enjoyable car to drive and own. With its rear-drive nature and electric powertrain, combined with a very good SUV chassis, I think the iX3 will be a great family car. Ultimately though, I think it will live or die by its pricing and I think the X3 M40i will be the price-point demarcation line between living and dying. If it’s cheaper than the M40i, it will be a hit but if it’s more expensive, I’m not so sure. The X3 M40i is such a great everyday car, with an incredible engine and excellent performance, that it will be hard for customers to spend more for something with less power and less range.
If priced well, though, the BMW iX3 could be a great car and one that could end up being the best pick of the X3 range. So I’ cautiously optimistic, and even hopeful, that the iX3 will reach its potential.