BMW iX3 will skip the US as automaker awaits iNext’s arrival

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BMW won’t sell the upcoming electric version of the popular X3 crossover SUV in the United States. The battery-electric BMW iX3 is scheduled to start production this year, meaning it would have likely been a 2021 model if U.S. sales had gone ahead.

The decision was mentioned at the bottom of a press release for the BMW Concept i4 that debuted a week ago, and subsequently confirmed by the automaker.

2021 BMW iX3 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2021 BMW iX3 spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

“At this time we do not have plans to bring the iX3 to the U.S. market,” BMW spokesperson Oleg Satanovsky told Motor Authority on Monday.

BMW did not disclose a reason for the iX3 skipping the U.S. It could potentially be due to the vehicle having rear-wheel drive only, whereas most buyers here opt for all-wheel drive in the X3.

2021 BMW iX3 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2021 BMW iX3 spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The iX3’s range may also be too low compared to the compeition. The vehicle is likely to have a 74-kilowatt-hour battery pack only, compared to the Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace with 95- and 90-kilowatt-hour batteries, respectively.

Also, unlike the X3 which is built at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for local sale, the iX3 will be built exclusively at a plant in China.

2022 BMW iNext spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 BMW iNext spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

BMW fans in the U.S. seeking an electric SUV will only have to wait one more year for the automaker’s much-hyped iNext which arrives in mid-2021. The vehicle, which could be badged an iX5 due to its similar size to the X5, will feature BMW’s fifth-generation battery and electric motor technology (the iX3 is only fourth-generation tech). BMW has confirmed that the biggest battery available in the iNext will be a 120-kwh unit that should deliver a range of more than 400 miles.

The automaker will also launch the i4 electric liftback sedan here toward the end of 2021. This model is the production version of the Concept i4 and is essentially the replacement for the current 4-Series Gran Coupe. It’s biggest battery will be an 80-kwh unit good for a 300-mile range.

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