Motors

BMW iX3: £60k-plus for battery-powered SUV from next year

The BMW iX3 arrives here next year

WE'VE shrugged our shoulders on these pages before at the BMW iX3. It might have up-to-date electric vehicle hardware but it looks so underwhelming, especially considering that BMW's earlier i-badged cars, the i3 and i8, appeared to have been beamed on to our roads from the future.

The iX3 is basically an X3 SUV with a battery drivetrain. This will presumably satisfy folk whose EV ambitions extend to wanting anything wearing a BMW badge and with more space than can be found in an i3.

BMW's approach looks particularly cynical if you park an iX3 next to a Jaguar I-Pace, which not only drives beautifully but also manages to look interesting.

Nor is the iX3 a bargain price. BMW has announced that it will start from £61,900... and that it won't even reach here until next summer.

First to arrive will be a high-specification 'Premier Edition', complete with 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension and a panoramic sunroof.

Buyers can choose from one of four exterior colours, which sounds a bit mean, as well as two types of exterior trim.

Inside, there's the choice of one of four colours of leather trim, while ambient lighting and electric seats are included as standard too.

Wireless phone charging, heated front seats and a range of assistance systems are also brought as part of the iX3's list of included equipment.

A more extensive Premier Edition Pro specification will be available too, bringing additional features such as a head-up display, upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system and automatic high beam assist, among other upgrades.

It also benefits from BMW's IconicSounds Electric system, which was developed with help from composer Hans Zimmer. That's possibly the most exciting thing about it.

The technology brings a unique sound to the cabin when accelerating and decelerating.

The Premier Edition Pro does bring a slightly higher price tag of £64,900.

With a rear-mounted electric motor and battery setup, the iX3 produces 282bhp and has a claimed range of up to 279 miles between charges.

Performance is still brisk, with 0-60mph taking 6.5 seconds before it hits a top speed of 112mph.

If you can find a 150kW DC rapid charger, BMW says a 0-80 per cent charge can take as little as 34 minutes.

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