Electric BMW 3 Series planned to rival Tesla Model 3

Forthcoming BMW 3 Series EV will use same tech as BMW i4 and iX3

  • Electric 3 Series prototype spotted
  • Will get EV-specific styling touches
  • Likely to go on sale in 2021

A fully electric version of the BMW 3 Series is on its way, judging by these spy shots of a partly camouflaged car. When it goes on sale, possibly in 2021, it’ll be a prime rival for the Tesla Model 3 and cost roughly the same.

We expect it to share components with the BMW i4 and BMW iX3 electric cars. The latter has 266bhp, manages 273 miles of range (according to WLTP testing) and can recharge in 30 minutes when hooked up to a 150kW fast charger. BMW has said the i4 will offer 523bhp, 373 miles of range and a 0-62mph time of four seconds. That’s as quick as the BMW M4 coupe, so this powertrain could be used for a range-topping M Performance version.

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While the i4 essentially previews the upcoming BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the electric 3 Series seems to have very few styling changes over petrol and diesel models. The front grilles will be fared in and the rear bumper won’t have a cutout for an exhaust pipe, while the electric BMW 3 Series will also be marked out by exclusive aerodynamic alloy wheels and blue exterior detailing.

Interior and boot space shouldn’t be affected compared to petrol and diesel versions because BMW can utilise the space under the bonnet where a conventional engine would go. In the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid, the combination of petrol engine and electric motor means the battery reduces the size of the boot.

An electric BMW 3 Series Touring estate should be in the pipeline, too, as BMW has said it plans to offer electric versions of all its cars. This would rival the forthcoming Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion.

Read about the other cars set to be revealed in 2021 and beyond.

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