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New BMW iX3 2021 detailed: Tesla Model X-rivalling electric SUV goes exclusively rear-wheel drive

BMW’s upcoming EV focuses on higher efficiency rather than using a larger battery to achieve a 440km driving range.

BMW has revealed key powertrain information for its upcoming iX3 electric vehicle, which is expected to make its official debut sometime next year.

The new model is based on the popular X3 medium SUV, and uses a 74kWh battery pack to provide 440km of driving range as tested on the WLTP cycle.

Outputting 210kW and 400Nm, the iX3 features an electric motor sending power directly to the rear wheels.

BMW considers the iX3 an important model as it will be its first vehicle to offer petrol and diesel, as well as plug-in hybrid and pure electric propulsion.

The iX3 will be followed by the i4 and iNext in BMW’s electric vehicle line-up, which use the newly developed ‘eDrive’ technology.

With the fifth generation of its electric drive system, BMW says it has made significant optimisations in regards to energy density and overall scalability.

In fact, the battery unit is in an “extremely flat” position in the vehicle’s floor as to not lose any passenger or luggage space compared to the traditionally powered X3 variants.

The car will be produced for the global market by the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, China.

“The real ecological footprint of electric vehicles is sometimes questioned, particularly in markets still having a low percentage of green electricity in the public power grid,” said BMW in a recent press release.

“At BMW Group every electrified model has to prove that for the entire cycle, comprising raw material procurement, supply chain, production and usage phase as well as recycling, its CO2 balance is substantially better than the one of a conventionally powered sibling.”

The BMW iX3 has yet to be confirmed for the Australian market, however, it will likely rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Tesla Model X from 2021.