In this Data Digest we’ll be looking at the first model in BMW’s grand return to electric vehicles, the iX3 mid-size crossover.

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Above: the 2018 Concept iX3.

Previewed by a 2018 concept of the same name, the production model is expected to be revealed in the coming months.

Based on the ICE-powered X3, the iX3 is set to wear a plethora of eco-look touches to flaunt its electric powertrain, including unique aerodynamic bumpers, a single blue-accented, conjoined kidney grille – which would be more at home on a Kia product than a BMW – and the obligatory iX3 badging.

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Above: the 2018 Concept iX3.

There’ll also be a set of aerodynamic wheels, claimed to reduce drag by 5 per cent and decrease energy consumption by 2 per cent, or 0.4kWh/100km – the latter translating to a range boost of approximately 10 kilometres.

The sole powertrain on offer – from launch, at least – will be the ‘sDrive75’, powered by a single electric motor located on the rear axle producing 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

Energy comes from a 74kWh (net) lithium-ion battery pack located between the axles, capable of delivering a 440km (273mi) range and energy efficiency of less than 20kWh per 100km, both measured on the WLTP cycle.

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Above: the production iX3’s aerodynamic alloys.

While it won’t be Tesla-quick, the Bavarian EV should still make for a spritely drive – expect a 0-100km/h acceleration time in the low six-second bracket.

Charging speeds of up to 150kW are reported, likely capable of a 0 to 80 per cent charge in just 30-40 minutes.

The available equipment list is expected to be plentiful, consisting of the usual BMW luxury features – including adaptive dampers, big infotainment touchscreens and plush interior materials – in addition to Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

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Above: production iX3’s 210kW motor.

Also set to be offered is a feature company sources have dubbed “BMW Iconic Sounds”, which will overlay a set of spaceship-like sounds in place of the internal combustion engine, each created by iconic film composer Hans Zimmer.

Production of the iX3 is set to commence at the BMW Brilliance plant in Shenyang, China in the second half of the year, before hitting European and Chinese dealers in late 2020 or early 2021.

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While an Australian debut is still unconfirmed, a US launch is confirmed to be off the table, as American dealers would – according to sources quoted by publication Automotive News – only take the iX3 if its range exceeded 300 miles (483km).

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