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New BMW iX3 detailed: Audi e-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC rival surprises with longer driving range

After being leaked three months ago, the new iX3 has gone official.

BMW has officially revealed its second all-electric model, the iX3 mid-size SUV, which is due in Australian showrooms in the middle of next year.

As expected, the Chinese-built iX3 is available with a single-motor set-up from launch, with it sending 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque exclusively to the rear wheels.

This configuration helps the iX3 sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds while on the way to its electronically limited top speed of 180km/h.

The entire driving experience is matched to a series of “matching acoustic patterns”, which were partially composed by German film score composer Hans Zimmer.

The powertrain is matched to an underfloor 80kWh battery (74kWh usable) that provides 460km of driving range (WLTP), which is 20km more than expected.

  • 2021 BMW iX3 2021 BMW iX3
  • 2021 BMW iX3 2021 BMW iX3

This unit can be recharged from zero to 80 per cent capacity in 34 minutes when using a 150kW DC fast charger. It’ll also be topped up while on the way via regenerative braking, which has four settings.

Of course, it is possible BMW will introduce a dual-motor version with higher outputs and all-wheel drive in the future, which would better rival the Audi e-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC.

Like the internal-combustion X3 it is based upon, the iX3 rides on BMW’s CLAR platform, which supports petrol, diesel, petrol-electric plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains.

As such, the X3 and iX3 are more or less identical inside and out, with the key differences being the aerodynamically honed grille insert, bumpers and alloy wheels as well as the blue trim throughout. There’s also about a 75mm difference in ride height between the two.

The iX3 does, however, standout from the X3 crowd by being powered by BMW’s latest multimedia system, OS 7.0, which supports over-the-air updates and features unique functionality.

Local pricing and full specification will be released closer to the iX3’s launch date, so stay tuned.