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(Pocket-lint) - After teasing its announcement earlier this week, BMW has taken the wraps off the Concept iX3, its first fully-electric SUV. 

The Concept iX3 is, as the name suggests, based on the current X3 SUV and so keeps a very similar design. However it does have intricate design touches that help to distinguish it as an 'i' electric model. The most obvious is the closed-off double kidney grille at the front, which has been done to help improve aerodynamics. After all, there's no engine under the bonnet to keep cool. 

The Concept iX3 arrives in a Moonstone Silver colour and has blue accents around the double kidney front grille, around the brand logo on the front and sides and around the rear diffuser. It also gets light alloy wheels in an "aerodynamically optimised design".

As for performance, BMW has fitted the Concept iX3 with its fifth-generation of its eDrive technology. This sees the electric motor, transmission and power electronics all housed within a single compact unit. The idea is that the same unit can be easily fitted to any future BMW electrified vehicle, although the company adds it also uses a new flexible architecture, that can be used for future electric, hybrid and fuel-powered vehicles.

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The Concept iX3 uses a version of fifth-generation electric motor that has been especially developed for SAVs (Sports Activity Vehicles). It produces a maximum of 270hp and its 70kW battery delivers up to 249 miles on the WLTP cycle. It also supports fast charging from 150kW chargers, meaning it can be fully recharged in just 30 minutes. 

BMW says the Concept iX3, which will go head-to-head with the likes of the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar i-Pace, will go into production in 2020 and will be built at its plant in Shenyang, China. BMW plans to release 12 fully-electric vehicles by 2025

One of those electric vehicles we expect to eventually see on the roads is the i Vision Dynamics Concept Coupe, which will likely be renamed to a much easier to say i5 when it goes on sale. 

Writing by Max Langridge. Originally published on 23 April 2018.