The fully electric iX3 has only been out for a little over two years but BMW is eager to give its zero-emissions crossover a makeover. Chances are the Bavarians want to bring the "eco" member of the X3 family in line with the recent facelift applied to the petrol- and diesel-fuelled version. As seen back in May in images published on China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website, the Life Cycle Impulse brings mild visual tweaks.
The most obvious change is at the front where BMW's designers have decided to inflate the kidney grilles a little bit, but thankfully, without going overboard as seen in some of the other recent products from Bayerische Motoren Werke. Not that you'll be able to tell right away, but the headlights are now approximately 10 millimetres (0.4 inches) slimmer and come with adaptive matrix LEDs as standard or optional laser tech.
Equipped as standard with the M Sport Package, the 2022 iX3 rides on 19-inch alloys or you can opt for newly designed M-branded aerodynamic wheels measuring 20 inches. Rounding off the changes on the outside are fresh graphics for the LED taillights, which now have a thick black surround. Compared to an X3 30i, the centre of gravity is 74 mm (2.9 in) lower while the weight is distributed 43:57 front/rear.
Stepping inside the cabin, the updated iX3 boasts a fully digital driver's display measuring 12.3 inches and a revised infotainment with a touchscreen of the same size. BMW has made changes to the centre console by tweaking the gear selector lever and some of the switchgear, along with adding a new perforated upholstery option for the sport seats.
There aren't any modifications underneath the skin as the electric crossover soldiers on with a single motor mounted at the rear axle, good for 282 bhp (210 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-metres) of torque. The RWD-only iX3 needs 6.8 seconds to get from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) and tops out at an electronically governed 112 mph (180 km/h).
Just like before, it comes equipped with an 80-kWh battery that adds 62 miles (100 kilometres) of WLTP-certified range in 10 minutes thanks to fast charging at 150 kW. With a fully charged battery (74 kWh usable capacity), it will cover up to 286 miles (460 kilometres) in the same WLTP cycle, which is more realistic than the old NEDC, but an EPA figure would be even lower.
BMW will have the revised iX3 on display at the 2021 IAA Munich in September when the electric crossover is set to enter production at the Shenyang factory in China for local and export markets. The BMW iX3 M Sport starts from £59,730 OTR, with the first UK customer deliveries happening from December 2021.