BMW teases iX3 EV concept for Auto China in Beijing

It's done something heretical to BMW's classic grille shape.

One of BMW's design staples is its grille. BMW enthusiasts will defend the kidneys, as they're called, to the death. So it'll be interesting to see what the fanboys and fangirls do when they see the Concept iX3.

BMW teased the Concept iX3 on Twitter, ahead of its debut at the Auto China show in Beijing, which takes place later in April. It focuses on the kidneys -- first, they're shown in traditional form, and then they morph into... something I'm not too sure about.

I'm not married to the idea of retaining the kidney grilles as-is in perpetuity, even if I thought the ones on the Concept X7 looked like beaver teeth. Evolution or revolution, the idea of change should be embraced. But the Concept iX3's take on it, with that huge span of connected area in the middle, just looks like a smushed version of the Kia Stinger's front end.

The Concept iX3 will likely preview a production vehicle of the same name. It's a pretty straightforward formula -- just take a standard X3 SUV and replace the gas engine with a battery-electric drivetrain. It's a smart move, given everyone's push for electricity and reluctance to drive anything other than an SUV.

When the production version is unveiled, it'll already have competition. Mercedes-Benz is believed to debut its first battery-electric SUV, the EQC, later this year. It should carry dimensions similar to the gas-powered GLC, which is the X3's prime competitor. As for figures like torque or range, we'll just have to wait.