BMW iX3 electric crossover detailed: US misses out on first new-generation EV

The first of BMW’s next-generation electric cars has arrived, but it’s not coming to the United States.

The 2021 BMW iX3 electric crossover was originally slated for the U.S., but BMW no longer plans to offer it here. The iX3 will launch in China, where it will also be built, later this year.

The iX3 is based on the X3 crossover and thus Tesla Model Y–sized. It’s powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor, making 282 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. BMW has said its EV powertrain components set will support dual-motor all-wheel drive, but the iX3 will remain rear-wheel drive only.

BMW quotes 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds, which is 0.8 second slower than the X3 sDrive30i, the base rear-wheel drive gasoline X3 model for the U.S. market. The iX3’s top speed is electronically limited to 112 mph.

An 80-kilowatt-hour battery pack mounted under the floor—with improved, fifth-generation pack architecture and power systems—enables an estimated range of 285 miles on the European WLTP testing cycle. An equivalent figure on the U.S. EPA testing cycle would be somewhat lower.

2021 BMW iX3

2021 BMW iX3

The iX3 is equipped for DC fast charging at up to 150 kilowatts. That will add 60 miles of range in 10 minutes of charging, or accomplish an 80% charge in 34 minutes, according to BMW.

BMW had planned to bring the iX3 to the U.S. as recently as last December. Then, perhaps relating to tariffs and strong EV growth in Europe, the decision changed. The lack of all-wheel drive, which might limit the iX3’s appeal among U.S. crossover buyers, may have been a factor as well.

The iX3 is BMW’s long-awaited step up to mass production of electric cars, beyond the niche numbers of i3 city cars sold so far.

BMW still plans 12 all-electric models by 2025. Both the Tesla Model 3-like i4 sedan and the iNext SUV are due in 2021. Both are headed to the U.S.

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