While the automotive world is awaiting the debut of the all-electric BMW X3 next year, the Bavarian company has quietly introduced a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the premium SUV. Initially previewed earlier this year, the X3 xDrive30e is set to enter production at BMW’s Spartanburg plant next month and go on sale worldwide in the spring of 2020. Care for the tech details? Here’s everything you need to know.
Under the hood of the conventionally-styled X3 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo gas engine with 184 horsepower (135 kilowatts), mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Integrated into the transmission is an electric motor capable of pushing out 109 hp (80 kW), resulting in a combined peak output of 292 hp (215 kW). The maximum torque stands at 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters). These figures are enough for 0 to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration in just 6.2 seconds.
Gallery: 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e
A number most customers will probably be more interested in is 20 – that’s how many miles (32 kilometers) the plug-in SUV could travel solely on electric energy before the combustion engine kicks in, according to BMW USA's estimates. According to the more optimistic NEDC, this equals about 34 miles (55 km) but we doubt you’ll actually be able to reach this range with a single charge of the batteries.
All-Electric X3 Coming Next Year:
Speaking of the lithium-ion battery of the X3 xDrive30e, it is located in a space-saving position underneath the rear seat, while the fuel tank is positioned above the rear axle. Thanks to this smart layout, the cargo area of the high-riding Bimmer is only slightly restricted compared to a conventional ICE-powered X3. More precisely, with all five seats in place, the SUV can swallow up to 15.89 cubic feet (450 liters) of cargo and folding down the rear row extends that to up to 52.97 cu-ft (1,500 liters).
Update: A previous version of this story featured WLTP range estimates of 29 miles on a full charge. The story has been updated with BMW's estimates of the car's all-electric range in the United States, which sits at 20 miles per charge.
Munich. The unique combination of intelligent all-wheel drive BMW xDrive and cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology makes for sustainable driving pleasure in another BMW model. The new BMW X3 xDrive30e is already the third Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) in the brand's current model range to feature a plug-in hybrid drive and power transmission to all four wheels, offering exciting versatility and a purely electric driving experience as well as outstandingly low fuel consumption and emissions. Together, the 4-cylinder combustion engine and the electric motor of the plug-in hybrid model generate a maximum system output of 215 kW/292 hp. The unique combination of the intelligent 4-wheel drive system BMW xDrive and state-of-the-art BMW eDrive technology reduces average fuel consumption to levels between 2.4 and 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres*. The relevant CO2 emissions amount to 54 to 49 grams per kilometre*. The combined power consumption of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e is between 17.2 and 16.4 kWh per 100 kilometres*. Its lithium-ion high-voltage battery equipped with the very latest battery cell technology enables purely electric mobility with a range of 51 to 55 kilometres*.
The new BMW X3 xDrive30e will be produced from December 2019 onwards at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, USA – alongside the conventionally powered model variants of the BMW X3. The worldwide market launch is due to start in spring 2020. In this way, the BMW Group is consistently pursuing not only the electrification of its drive portfolio but also a product strategy geared towards the diverse needs of its customers. The globally popular SAV model in the premium mid-range segment is the first model of the brand to be offered with both a conventional combustion engine and a plug-in hybrid system – with a purely electrically powered model variant due to be added during the course 2020.
Sports Activity Vehicle with agile handling, superior off-road performance and outstanding efficiency.
The new BMW X3 xDrive30e combines the typical qualities of a Sports Activity Vehicle with particularly efficient drive technology. The plug-in hybrid model is likewise characterised by agile handling and sporty driving characteristics, robust versatility, a versatile interior, premium quality and advanced connectivity. Its BMW xDrive system permanently distributes the drive torque between the front and rear wheels as required – even when driving purely on electric power – so as to ensure sporty driving characteristics on the road and superior off-road performance over unsurfaced terrain. The drive power is generated by a 2.0-litre, 135 kW/184 hp 4-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and an electric motor integrated into the 8-speed Steptronic transmission with an output of 80 kW/109 hp. Together the two drive units mobilise a system output of 215 kW/292 hp. The maximum system torque of the plug-in hybrid drive is 420 Nm. This allows the new BMW X3 xDrive30e to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. Its top speed is 210 km/h.
Depending on the operating mode and the situation on the road, the electric motor of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e can be used either for purely electric mobility or to support the combustion engine. In MAX eDrive mode, which can be activated via the eDrive button on the centre console, the new BMW X3 xDrive30e achieves a top speed of 135 km/h with a locally emissions-free and virtually silent drive unit. In the standard Auto eDrive setting, purely electric driving is possible at speeds of up to 110 km/h. The combustion engine only switches on at higher speeds or when there are particularly high load requirements. When both drive units are active, the efficiency of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e is optimised, as is its sprint capacity. When accelerating, the spontaneous power development of the electric motor is clearly noticeable, while at constant speeds its electric assist reduces fuel consumption and emissions. The support of the electric motor ensures that the combustion engine can run within an efficiency-optimised load range as often as possible. The likewise available BATTERY CONTROL setting serves to keep the charge state of the high-voltage battery at a level determined by the driver. In this way, the power supply can be specifically reserved and used for local emissions-free driving on urban stretches of road during a lengthier trip.
High-voltage battery based on the very latest battery cell technology for maximum efficiency; large, variable luggage compartment.
The lithium-ion battery of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e is located in a space-saving position underneath the rear seat, while the fuel tank is positioned above the rear axle. This means that the transport capacity of the plug-in hybrid model is only slightly restricted. At 450 litres, the luggage compartment volume of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e is on a par with those models which have a conventional engine. By folding down the rear seat with 40 : 20: 40 split, the storage space can be extended to up to 1 500 litres. Thanks to cutting-edge battery cell technology and a gross energy content of 12.0 kWh, the high-voltage battery contributes both to the outstanding efficiency and the excellent electrical range of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e. As a result, the plug-in hybrid model can be used for a great deal of day-to-day travel without locally produced emissions – even beyond the city.
The high-voltage battery can be charged at conventional household sockets using the standard-equipment charging cable. In this way, the battery can be fully charged in less than six hours. At a BMW i Wallbox, the same charging process can be completed in around three and a half hours. The charging socket is located under a separate flap on the front left side wall of the car. The electrical energy stored in the high-voltage battery is also used to supply the 12-volt vehicle electrical system.
Electric licence plate and tax benefit thanks to the considerable electrical range.
Thanks to its high electrical range the new BMW X3 xDrive30e fulfils the criteria laid down in the German Electric Mobility Act – depending on fittings – for classification as an e-vehicle, complete with special rights on public roads. It is also subject to reduced company car taxation in Germany. Only half the gross list price is used as a basis when calculating the monetary benefit from private use of the company car.
As an alternative to the basic version, the new BMW X3 xDrive 30e also comes in the model variants Advantage, xLine, Luxury and M Sport. Its standard equipment includes acoustic pedestrian protection. When driving electrically at low speeds, an unmistakeable sound designed specifically for electrified BMW models is generated to alert other road users to the approaching car without impairing the acoustic comfort of the vehicle occupants. In addition, the new BMW X3 xDrive30e is equipped with an auxiliary air conditioning system as standard. It can also be controlled remotely from a smartphone using the BMW Connected App: the driver can therefore get into a warm vehicle in winter and a pleasantly cool vehicle in summer. New digital services help make it more attractive and convenient to charge the high-voltage battery when out and about. The digital services support the driver in searching for and selecting public charging stations, enable the charging process to be controlled via remote functions and transmit information relating to charge status, electrical and combined range and individual energy consumption to the driver’s smartphone or other personal devices.
In addition, almost the entire range of optional equipment available for the conventionally powered versions of the BMW X3 is also available for the plug-in hybrid model – thereby increasing driving pleasure, comfort and individual style. This range includes an Adaptive Suspension, a Variable Sports Steering and a M Sport Brake System, the BMW Head-Up Display, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Driving Assistant Plus with steering and lane guidance assistant and also Parking Assistant Plus. Another feature included in this range of extras is a tow hitch that can be electrically swivelled out and in. The maximum towing capacity of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e is 2,000 kilograms.
New BMW X3 xDrive30e has a smaller overall CO2 footprint.
The “real” environmental impact of plug-in hybrid vehicles has been questioned on occasion, especially in markets where the proportion of green energy used by the public energy grid remains small. The BMW Group conducted a full-cycle CO2 certification for the new BMW X3 xDrive30e – from raw material procurement, the supply chain, production and the use phase, all the way to recycling.
This revealed the CO2 footprint of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e to be 26 per cent smaller than that of the new BMW X3 xDrive30i when running on average European power in the use phase. When charging the car with green energy, its CO2 footprint is reduced by as much as 54 per cent.