When BMW announced its ‘i’ sub-brand back in 2011, it was meant to be the umbrella under which all its alternate energy vehicles from the Munich carmaker will be developed and marketed. However, with electrification gaining momentum globally at a faster pace than expected, BMW has altered its strategy by limiting the ‘I’ sub-brand to self-driving and connectivity tech, while widening the scope of electrification to all its mainstream models.

The auto giant has already announced that it will bring out 12 fully electric models by 2025 on a Group level, with the electric Mini set to be the first. This will be followed by an electric version of the X3 SUV, previewed by the Concept iX3 in Beijing last year. This week, our photographer has spotted a prototype of the BMW iX3 being tested in Germany. The camouflage seen on the front and rear bumpers suggest it will reflect the design changes previewed by the Beijing concept.

As you can see from the rear shots, there are no exhaust tips, while up front, the kidney grille is closed off. The front doors have labels on them saying “Electric Test Vehicle” while a charging port can be seen on the driver’s side front.

BMW promises a range of more than 400km for the iX3, and with fast charging capabilities, a full charge is claimed to be achieved in just over half an hour when using specific chargers.

The iX3 is expected to make its debut in production form sometime next year.


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