The appearance of the new BMW will be unusual

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Unveiled at today's Beijing Motor Show, the Concept iX3 incorporates BMW's fifth-generation EV hardware in a modular chassis, including a motor that puts out over 270 horsepower - a nice bump over the 240 hp in today's gas-powered X3.

The high-voltage battery is assisted with eDrive technology meaning it can be fully charged in 30 minutes at fast-charging stations.

It is planned to go on sale in Australia in 2020, preceding the launch of a production version of the Vision Efficient Dynamics sedan revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show featuring a similar powertrain that BMW chairman, Harald Kruger, says is due out in 2021. BMW said all its electric vehicles would carry the BMW I brand logo despite being members of conventional product line-ups.

According to BMW, such levels of tweaks can be expected in its future electrified models as well. Unlike the i3-BMW's current production BEV-the iX3 looks pretty much the same as the company's other SUVs or crossovers (though technically BMW calls them Sports Activity Vehicles).

Powering the clean-running crossover will be BMW's fifth-generation electric drive system. The vehicle was first teased only recently, and marks the next important step in BMW's grand electrification strategy.

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In the iX3 concept the system uses a 70kWh-plus battery that produces more than 200kW to the wheels, providing a driving range of over 400km. The specific front end with blue accents hint at the electric powertrain hidden under the sheet metal; the rest of the vehicle looks a lot like the X3 now on sale. The model so far presented in the status of a concept, but the production version of the long not have to wait: the Bavarians serious plans for electric vehicles.

Instead, it is recognizable as a variant of the BMW G01 X3, but with its own identity.

BMW has not revealed the technical details of the electric powertrain but stated that the powertrain will compact in design as compared to the i3 equipped with an electric motor, transmission and power electric as a single component. In an effort to reduce development costs, the iX3 will be heavily based on the regular X3 SUV, something that's readily obvious with the iX3 Concept's design.

The same blue accents can also be seen on the sides at the bottom of the doors and on the rear diffusers.

The iX3 is set to compete against the Jaguar i-Pace, Audi e-tron and first Mercedes EQ models, as well as the Tesla Model X.

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