BMW has released an update on its upcoming iX3 electric SUV. The fully electric version of the X3 will hit the market by the end of 2020, Munich says, and production will get underway at BMW Brilliance Automotive’s (BBA) Dadong plant in Shenyang, China in late summer as planned. BBA will produce the iX3 for the world.

The testing required for homologation of the iX3 has been completed and the results submitted to the regulatory authorities in key automotive markets. More than 340 hours of testing, including over 7,700 km of test drives, had to be completed within four weeks, BMW says.

“This is the first time we have completed the entire homologation process for a fully electric model in China and Europe at the same time. The staff on our testing team mastered this unique challenge with tremendous dedication and efficiency,” said Arno Keller, the model’s head of development.

Preparations for production of the iX3 were stepped up in Shenyang in parallel. BBA has been building BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles at Dadong since the middle of last year. The 200th pre-production model recently came off the assembly line and test drives on Chinese roads began, allowing engineers to make final adjustments.

“We are right on schedule with our BMW iX3 pre-production vehicles and will launch standard production in late summer, using state-of-the-art technologies such as custom installation of the new high-voltage battery and artificial intelligence for monitoring parts,” explained Robert Küssel, plant director at BBA Dadong.

“We are also producing the fully-electric BMW iX3 and the BMW X3 with combustion engine on the same production line. This enables us to achieve high efficiency and flexibility in production,” Küssel added.

Today’s G01 X3 is the brand’s first model available with both conventional petrol and diesel engines, a plug-in hybrid system and soon, a pure electric drivetrain.

What appears like official images of the production BMW iX3 were leaked in April

The iX3 comes with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, including a drive unit with the electric motor, power electronics and transmission highly integrated into a central housing. This significantly reduces the installation space and mass of the drive technology relative to output, and offers added flexibility for installing new electric powertrain components in different vehicle derivatives, BMW says.

A further highlight is the electric motor, which no longer requires the use of rare earths and ensures the BMW Group is not dependent on their availability. The fifth-generation electric drivetrain also includes new and more powerful high-voltage batteries. Thanks to their scalable, modular design, these can be used flexibly in the respective vehicle architecture and at various production locations.

With a range of around 440 km in the WLTP test cycle (based on preliminary data), the iX3 paves the way for BMW eDrive technology, which will also be used in the BMW i4 and BMW iNEXT models from 2021 on. More on the 2021 BMW iX3 here.