The next generation of electric BMW is on its way, and the iX3 concept unveiled today in China is a clear picture of what the brand has in mind.

Based on BMW's fifth generation electric drive system, the iX3 pulses out 270 hp and thanks to its 70 kWh battery pack, it can go 250 miles on a charge.

The iX3 will also be able to use Germany's 150 kWh charging network, allowing it to go from a dead to a full battery in just 30 minutes.

"The BMW Concept iX3 underscores the BMW Group's resolve to further strengthen its leading position in the field of electric mobility," the company said in a statement. "The expansion of the company's range of vehicles offering locally emission-free mobility is one of the central spheres of activity defined by the Automated, Connected, Electrified and Services (ACES) technological fields, on which the company is driving forward the transformation of the mobility sector as part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy."

The big news here is that unlike the i3 and the i8, the iX3 is based on a flexible platform. Unlike the current "i" cars (intended as rolling tech showcases), the electric architecture that underpins the iX3 will form the basis of a range of electric vehicles.

According to BMW it's "opening a new chapter in its electrification strategy," that will see it introduce "flexible, further developed vehicle architectures accommodating all types of front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive in the near future."

BMW is also going pretty directly after Audi with the iX3. Audi has been talking a big game about its e-Tron-which is a roughly similarly sized SUV with 250 miles of range and 150 kWh charging. It must be said, though, that the luxury SUV segment is a particularly strong segment right now, so apart from the inter-German competition, it just makes sense to make an SUV (or SAV, as BMW insists on calling it).

A production version of the iX3 is expected to arrive in 2020.