At the very end of the Vision Neue Klasse concept’s debut at IAA Mobility in Munich, BMW briefly showed the camouflaged prototype of an SUV. It was an early look at the second-generation iX3, which will move away from the CLAR underpinnings to a dedicated electric car platform. Fast forward to today, the first spy shots have emerged, already revealing a fresh look compared to the current model.
Our colleagues at BimmerToday have published images of the work-in-progress electric SUV featuring shorter overhangs, denoting the long-awaited bespoke EV architecture. The iX3 spotted testing is a diamond in the rough since it lacks all the final production bits. For example, it has provisional headlights and taillights that don’t look particularly appealing but that will change in 2024 with more evolved prototypes. For now, it’s best not to judge the vehicle’s appearance since a lot will change in the coming years.
Flush door handles are already noticeable, and it looks as though the next iX3 will have a refreshingly small grille, without the huge kidneys that have sparked a lot of controversy in recent years. Seeing the second-generation model out on the road likely means BMW has commenced real-life testing of Gen6 batteries with round cells. In late October, the luxury automaker started small production of round cells that will be going into Neue Klasse EVs.
As a reminder, the new batteries are touted as having 20% higher energy density while charging speed and range are expected to jump by 30%. In addition, BMW touts it’ll be able to slash emissions during the production process by 60% and halve manufacturing costs. Round cells will have a 46-mm diameter and two heights: 95 mm for cars and 120 mm for SUVs such as this iX3.
While the current CLAR-based iX3 is made in China for all markets, its replacement (“NA5”) is going to be assembled at BMW’s new plant in Debrecen, Hungary. We’re hearing series production is scheduled to commence in July 2025 and Europe will get it first, with other markets to follow in the spring of 2026. Nothing is official at this point, but sources close to BMW are claiming 40, 40 xDrive, 50 xDrive, and M60 xDrive will be the initial versions. Later in the life cycle, an iX3 M (“ZA5”) might hit the market.
Check out the spy shots at the source link below.