ON THE ROAD- IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS THE NEW BMW iX3
Almost every day, yet another new EV enters the market making for a wide choice for the buyer and the new BMW iX3 has arrived on the motoring scene with a more visually striking appearance.
This new model has a generous helping of street cred, the BMW kidney grille is now larger than before and has a single-piece frame which comes in pearl effect chrome with a blue accent, in familiar BMW i style, along the inner edges, whilst the inner surfaces of the kidney grille elements have a mesh-like structure and feature a BMW i badge. Headlight contours are now ten millimetres slimmer, helping to give the new model a sharper look and lending the front end a distinct similarity to that of the iX and i4. The lower air intake, which comes with ten-stage active air flap control to cool the drive system components and brakes, has gained in size. The air curtains positioned at the outer edges of the front end are now L-shaped and have blue accents. The air breathers in the front side panels also have a new M-specific design, while the blue accent in the side skirts is omitted. Muscular and aerodynamically optimised surfacing marks out the rear apron of the new model and the outer elements of the rear diffuser are in BMW i Blue and the contours of the fully LED rear lights are marked out even more precisely by a black surround. The striking design at night is defined by the slim light graphic and new three-dimensional pincer-shaped contouring with delicately integrated, horizontal turn signal indicators.
The iX3 deploys BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology including an innovative charging unit, which sends power to both the 400V battery and the 12V onboard power supply. When charging using alternating current, it enables both single phase and three phase charging at up to 11 kW. Plugging the vehicle into a direct current rapid-charging station opens the door to charging outputs of up to 150 kW, meaning the high-voltage battery can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in 34 minutes, this news will be warmly welcomed Drivers can inject the power required to add 100km (62 miles) to the cars driving range in just 10 minutes. The gravimetric energy density of the 188 prismatic cells in the new iX3 is around 20 per cent higher than that of the battery cells used in previous fully electric BMW vehicles. A gross energy content of 80 kWh, of which 74 kWh is utilised and the high efficiency of the drive systems allow the iX3 to offer a range of up to 460km (286 miles). Performance, rest to 100kph (62mph) in 6.8 seconds, top speed of 180kph (112mph), courtesy of 286bhp.
Again, many are surprised at the relatively low top speed, this is fairly common with EVs while acceleration usually impresses. Range continues to be a major concern with EVs, thankfully in this respect the new iX3 does offer a range which will suit a wide band of drivers. BMW iX3 M Sport or iX3 M Sport Pro customers will have the choice of four exterior metallic body paint colours including Carbon Black, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue and Sophisto Grey. Black High Gloss exterior trim will be offered as standard alongside 19 inch Black aerodynamic wheels, automatic tailgate, adaptive suspension, heated steering wheel and panoramic sunroof completing the exterior look. Sun protection glazing, ambient lighting and electric seats are offered as standard, other features include M Sport Package, wireless phone charging, heated front seats and the very latest driver assistance technology, including Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Professional. The iX3 M Sport Pro has a host of features, such as BMW Head-up Display, Harman Kardon surround sound, Gesture Control, Parking Assistant Plus and Automatic high beam assistaand BMW IconicSounds Electric, developed in collaboration with Hans Zimmer, completes the extensive offering. Price, from; €73.295 (ROI), £59,730 (N.I.).