Good news for all you electric-SUV enthusiasts out there—the BMW iX3 is still on track for a 2020 launch. The homologation process—which involved 340 hours and 7,700km of testing in the space of just four weeks—is now finished, and the final tweaks are currently being made to the 200th preproduction prototype.
Let’s go over what we know so far. The BMW X3 will be the first model of the German carmaker to be available with either gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid, or full-electric power, and the iX3 will be the company’s first all-electric SUV. It will be built on the same production line as the standard car (the two will look much the same, but the iX3 will get special aerodynamic trim and wheels) in China and exported globally. The first customers are set to receive their units toward the end of this year.
BMW promises around 440km of range from a 74kWh battery mounted under the floor, while an electric motor supplies the rear axle with 282hp and 400Nm of torque. This “fifth generation eDrive technology,” which will be used in the upcoming i4 and iNext, integrates the e-motor, transmission, and power electrics into a central housing. It’s lighter relative to its output, more space-efficient, and thus easier to install in different models.
Moreover, the e-motor doesn’t need any rare-earth metals, and the battery is “the optimum of what is possible nowadays.” BMW has managed to reduce the amount of cobalt in the battery by two-thirds, and something called the “gravimetric energy density” is up 20%. The iX3’s battery lives under the floor, so apparently, it doesn’t eat into passenger or luggage space whatsoever.
More as we have it. In the meantime, click on these blue words to read our review of the normal BMW X3.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.