BMW officially unveils electric iX3 SUV that won’t be sold in North America


BMW on Tuesday officially unveiled its first electric SUV, the iX3, that is designed to compete with the Tesla Model Y.

The iX3 will begin production in BMW’s Shenyang facility in China, with the first deliveries expected to happen in China later this year.

If the design looks familiar, that’s because it is. BMW used the same platform as the current X3, which supports both internal combustion and plug-in hybrid engines.

It is powered by an 80kWh battery pack that according to the generous WLTP rating schedule should achieve a range of 285 miles (458 km) on a single charge. If it were to be rated by the EPA in North American, the range would like fall closer to 200 miles (321 km).

For comparison, the Long Range (LR) Model Y has an official EPA rating of 316 miles (509 km). [Tesla 1 – BMW 0]

In a press release, BMW describes the battery as more efficient on a per kWh basis than its predecessors, and can support charging at up to 150kW. That will give a 0-80% in 34 minutes.

For comparison, the Model Y can charge at up to 250kW. [Tesla 2 – BMW 0]

When it comes to performance, the iX3 will reach 60mph in 6.8 seconds thanks to 286 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from the single electric motor. It will have an electronically limited top speed of 112mph (180km/h).

For comparison, the LR Model Y reaches 60mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 135mph (217km/h). [Tesla 3 – BMW 0]

The interior looks like your typical BMW, with blue accents designed to “allude to the presence of its electric drive system.” With 40:20:40 split/folding rear seats, the iX3 has a capacity of 510 litres of cargo space, up to 1,560 litres (55 cubic feet).

For comparison, the Model Y has a maximum storage capacity of 1,925 litres (68 cubic feet). [Tesla 4 – BMW 0]

Pricing has yet to be announced, but is rumoured to start around $100,000 CAD when released.

For comparison, the LR Model Y starts at $69,990, thanks to a recent $6,000 price drop. [Tesla 5 – BMW 0]

The BMW iX3 was originally planned to launch in North America in 2021, but those plans were later shelved to instead focus on China and Europe, much like the delay of the Mercedes EQC. [Tesla 6 – BMW 0]

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Have a Tesla tip? Email, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca