The electrification of models has now become a necessary step for the majority of manufacturers. BMW undertook this shift several years ago and the German manufacturer even wants to go further in its thinking. He has thus developed the "power of choice" program, which consists of designing vehicles with flexible architecture capable of accommodating both thermal (gasoline and diesel), plug-in hybrid and 100% electric engines. By the end of the year, this will be the case with the X3 as an electric version called the iX3 will be released. The X3 will therefore be the only vehicle to offer such a wide range of carburations and it will be present at our first motor show organized in an original place, the airship hangar at Ecausseville, in the English Channel.
Under the hood of this X3 30e, we find the same engine as on the X3 sDrive20i, namely a 184 hp 2.0 four-cylinder, now associated with a 113 hp electric unit, for a cumulative power of 292 hp. Power is supplied through an 11.15 kW / h battery pack housed under the rear seats, resulting in an overweight of about 250 kg more than a 2.0 i petrol. The fully electric range is announced between 41 and 46 km according to the WLTP cycle. This does not allow him to obtain the bonus of € 2,000, reserved for vehicles capable of traveling 50 km entirely electric.
Few visual elements distinguish this plug-in hybrid version from a classic thermal.
With a conventional household outlet, the battery can be fully recharged in less than six hours, while it takes around three and a half hours with the BMW i Wallbox. Of course, the loading volume of the X3 is impacted by this switch to the plug-in hybrid and the trunk goes from 550 to 450 liters.
Aesthetically, this X3 plug-in hybrid or PHEV looks like every other X3. It differs only by its 30th designation, as well as by a second hatch located on the left front fender which serves to hide the charging socket. Inside, the changes are very slight, if not minimal. They mainly relate to the presence of an eDrive button on the central console which allows you to choose between three modes: Auto eDrive, battery control and max eDrive, which are added to those already existing.
We did our first test of the new X3 PHEV in the Paris region this summer on a mixed course of around 150 km and we managed to cover 38 km entirely electric, which is relatively close to the figures announced by BMW. Our fuel consumption was 5.5 l / 100 km which is really convincing. The introduction of this new powertrain has no impact on the dynamic qualities of the X3, which does a good job of masking its overweight. On the other hand, when the road becomes more twisty, the extra pounds are felt, especially when changing angles. Despite this, he remains a very good student on the road and is still just as fun to drive. Finally, the main complaint that one could make concerns the comfort, too firm. This does not come from a specific calibration of the suspensions on this version but of the 20-inch rims of our test model. A smaller size ride is recommended.
With its prices between 59,600 and 69,050 €, the X3 charges dearly for its services. This plug-in hybrid version charges € 11,400 more than an X3 2.0 of identical thermal power. In contrast, it is exempt from an ecological penalty.
The 1st Caradisiac auto show could not have taken place without the active support of the Cotentin agglomeration community and the Association des Amis du Hangar à Dirigeables d'Ecausseville. Many thanks to all those who facilitated the reception of Caradisiac in the airship hangar of Ecausseville, a unique historical monument in the world!
Our warmest thanks to the Prévost Group, which supported us from the very start in this adventure of organizing the 1st Caradisiac auto show. His experience has facilitated the management of the delivery flows of more than one hundred cars in the Hangar d'Ecausseville, nestled in the Normandy countryside!