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October 4, 2022

Confirmed: BMW Philippines To Bring In All-Electric iX3 SUV

It’s confirmed: the all-electric BMW iX3 is coming to the Philippines. After the success of the trailblazing BMW iX launched last April, SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation is growing its EV family with the mid-sized iX3 Sport Activity Vehicle.

Unlike the flagship BMW iX, which rides on a bespoke EV platform, the iX3’s underpinnings are based off the best-selling X3 line. With uncompromising space for five adults and luggage capacity peaking at 1,560 liters, ultimately, it shows the flexibility of the architecture.

However, instead of a conventional gasoline or diesel powerplant, the iX3 uses the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. Also found in the BMW iX, this highly-integrated unit brings the electric motor, power electronics, and single gear transmission together within a single housing. Powering exclusively the rear wheels, it makes a healthy 286 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. Zero to 100 km/h is pegged at 6.8 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 180 km/h.

More important in the age of EVs, the integrated power unit displays exceptional efficiency—up to 93 percent and together with its 80-kWh battery delivers a range of 460 kilometers. Compared to the diesel-powered X3 xDrive 20d, its carbon footprint (well-to-wheel) is on average more than 30 percent better, peaking at 60 percent when purely sustainable energy is used.

Design-wise, the iX3 starts off as the X3 with unique BMW i Blue accents. In addition, the double kidney grille is now enclosed, while the wheels themselves (up to 20-inches in diameter) are optimized aerodynamically. Inside, it gets two 12.3-inch displays—one serving as the instrument cluster, and the other as the control display to the infotainment system.

BMW Philippines has yet to confirm the exact Philippine specifications of the iX3, but globally, it comes in two distinct equipment lines. The “Inspiring” is the base model and already comes with three-zone climate control, wireless charging, and electronically adjustable seats. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line “Impressive” adds a heads-up display, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, and Vernasca full grain leather seats.

The Philippines will be sourcing the BMW iX3 from the only plant in the world producing it: the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint-venture in Shenyang, China. BMW Philippines has yet to confirm the actual launch date, but it will be within “the next year.”

As for pricing, they refuse to give any official figure. However, given how they were able to competitively price the BMW iX (P 6.290 million) vis-à-vis the BMW X5 (P 5.890 million), expect the BMW iX3 to bracket the X3 (P 4.89 million) and the X5. A smart guess would put the iX3 somewhere in the P 5.2 million to 5.3 million range. If that’s the case, it will easily undercut its chief rival, the Audi e-Tron SUV as well as the Jaguar I-PACE.

BMW Philippines, through the two authorized BMW i dealerships (RSA Motors Greenhills and RSA Motors Libis), is now taking in reservations for the all-new iX3.

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