New electric BMW 3 Series detailed as Polestar 2 rival for China Car News

The BMW 3 Series sedan has received an electric powertrain for the Chinese market, where it will be sold as the i3.

The new model, based on the long-wheelbase Chinese-market version of the traditional BMW four-door, is set to go on sale in May, shortly before the nine-year-old BMW i3 electric hatch rolls out of production.

It will launch in rear-wheel-drive i3 eDrive35L form, which is claimed to deliver a range of up to 327 miles on the Chinese Lightweight Test Cycle (CLTC).

Building on developments made to the Chinese-made BMW iX3 SUV that arrived in 2021, the new i3 eDrive35L features a single electric motor. Located at the rear in a new set of electrified axles, it develops the same 287 hp and 295 lb-ft as in the rear-drive iX3.

Power for the motor is provided by a 66.1 kWh (net) lithium-ion battery using cells supplied by the Chinese company CATL. Mounted in a modified version of BMW’s CLAR platform structure, it can be charged at rates of up to 11 kW by an AC charger and up to 95 kW by a more powerful DC system. Charging time from 10% to 80% is estimated at 35 minutes.

By comparison, the iX3 uses a larger 74 kWh (net) battery that can be charged up to 150 kW.

BMW claims a 0-62mph time for the i3 eDrive35L of 6.2 seconds. An official top speed has not been announced, but BMW officials suggest it will be limited to the same 180km/h as the iX3, as is often the case with Chinese market models.

The i3 eDrive35L is based on the Chinese market 3 L series, which has a wheelbase 115mm longer than that of the standard model sold in other markets, extending its overall length to 4872mm.

Inside, the new i3 gets BMW’s eighth-generation iDrive infotainment system and what BMW describes as a “wide range of cutting-edge digital features and services making their debut in the 3 Series”.

Battery and power electronics packaging reduces boot capacity from the standard 80-litre 3 Series petrol and diesel versions, to a claimed 400 litres. That’s 25 liters more than that offered by the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid.

The new i3 is the second electric BMW model to be produced in China after the iX3.

Like its SUV sibling, the new four-door model is produced in a joint venture between BMW and Chinese automaker Brilliance in an operation called BMW Brilliance Automotive, headquartered in Shenyang.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-31 11:03:31

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