Electric BMW iX3 due to go on sale in 2021

  • All electric version of the BMW X3
  • A promised range of 285 miles
  • The first of an avalanche of EVs from BMW

BMW iX3 (2020) front view

It might have a new name, but the BMW iX3 is effectively an EV version of the popular X3 SUV. The new car is set to go on sale in the UK early in 2021.

The new iX3 packs cutting-edge technology, with the fifth generation of what BMW calls its eDrive system under a slightly modified X3 body. If you count the iX3 as an X3, then its introduction marks the first time a BMW will be offered as an EV or PHEV as well as petrol and diesel versions. To differentiate itself from the X3, the iX3 wears a different bodykit with a closed grille and flashes of blue.

It hits a market surprisingly lacking in electric SUVs (many are coming, though). Rivals include the forthcoming Tesla Model Y, Audi Q4/Q3 E-Tron and Volvo XC40 Recharge. Expect smaller Mercedes-Benz EQ models to come along in the next year or so, too.

New iX3: the facts

Maximum power is 285hp and BMW claims a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 112mph. When combined with an 80KWh battery – of which 74kWh is used – the iX3 has a claimed 285-mile range. That range depends on a variety of factors, but can be increased by making liberal use of the regenerative brakes (energy is harvested when slowing).

The iX3 builds on technology that originally debuted in the BMW i3 – battery density has increased and charging capacity has improved. It's moved on significantly from the groundbreaking small BMW electric car, having benefited from seven years of further development. The motor powers the rear wheels and BMW says that it uses no rare metals in it, unlike other e-motors.

BMW says this system – which is 30% more efficient (denser battery packs mean more charge stored in any given space) than in the company's existing EVs. The new style of dense battery pack will be used also in the forthcoming iX5 and i4.

What this means for you

BMW will be building the new iX3 in China and although no pricing or official release date has been released yet, it's set to arrive here in 2021. It will be the first premium electric SUV (at this price point) to hit the UK market – so should be on the ball for early adopters looking for a posh crossover family car.

>> Read more: The Parkers guide to electric cars
>> Read more: The best electric SUVs 2020

BMW iX3 (2020) rear view