BMW unveils new all-electric SUV at Auto China show

BMW unveils new all-electric SUV at Auto China show

- BMW Concept iX3 previews the all-electric X3.

BMW says that future vehicles will be developed with electric power in mind from the outset, and that its architecture will cater for front, rear and all-wheel-drive layouts.

BMW said in the future it would look to build pure combustion engines, plug-in hybrid systems and battery electric solutions that could be fitted across all and in any of its models.

BMW says that the new generation EV tech also has new and more powerful batteries.

"This fresh package of technology brings considerable advances in terms of performance characteristics, operating range, weight, packaging space and flexibility - and will be making its debut in the purely electrically-driven SAV", the company says in a press release. Assuming BMW continues to offer X-range models four-wheel drive, there's potential for a dual-motor set-up to be employed, which means 532bhp could be possible.

It also seems that the iX3 will be the first of many electric variants of models in the BMW range - the company has trademarked every combination from iX1 to iX9, which hints that a wide electric SUV range will eventually arrive. The high-voltage battery can be charged in just 30 minutes from one of these stations.

It says the battery capacity is over 70kWh and the electric motor produces 266bhp - which is slightly more than the most potent 3.0-litre xDrive 30d diesel X3 now on sale. It comes with fast charging feature as well.

According to BMW, the energy storage system has a newly developed Charging Control Unit, and is created to be hooked up to fast-charging stations generating up to 150 kW.

Electric mobility also means a differentiation in design. Its signature kidney grilles are now closed to better manage airflow at the front of the auto while an interesting set of alloy wheels aid in reducing the turbulence caused by conventional spoked wheels. But the concept is wearing an all-new kidney grille akin to the one seen on the i Vision Dynamics Concept from previous year. The closed area within the kidney reduces air resistance, providing aerodynamic benefits. There's also lots of blue highlighting to reinforce the car's electric credentials, while it also gets "aerodynamically optimised" alloy wheels.

As far as the styling goes, the i model stands out when compared to the conventionally-powered BMW models, but not in the extreme manner of the i3 and i8. However, a few design details demonstrate evolution of the current design language.

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