From launch there will be three models available in the United Kingdom: an xDrive20d powered by a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel, an xDrive30d which uses a 262bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel, plus an M Performance model for the first time in the shape of the M40i which houses a 355bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol under the bonnet.
A wicked M40i will be available, packing a 265kW/500Nm punch. The M40i can hit 60 miles per hour in just 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour. A bi-modal exhaust system with twin black chrome tailpipes ensures there will be a booming soundtrack along the way. It can accelerate to 100 km/h in around 5 and will spend an average of 8.4 l/100 km.
This new variant replaces the flagship 225kW/400Nm 35i.
Using the existing local range as a template, it is likely the five-seat X3 will be offered locally in 20i, 20d, 30i and 30d guises, with the 30i eschewing the existing 28i.
In addition, from the start will be available turbo diesel 2.0 litre (190 HP) and 3.0 l (265 HP). It will also have a double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension. Each alters the suspension, steering, transmission and throttle settings. The wheelbase has been extended by 2.2 inches, and the overall length of the X3 has also increased by more than 2 inches. Speaking of which, capacity behind the rear seats increases to 28.7 cubic feet, while maximum cargo capacity is slightly down at 62.7 cubic feet. BMW touts improved underbody sealing to reduce drag. As well, the "xDrive" set-up has more of a rear bias than before, resulting in sportier dynamics.
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Thanks to improvements in the engines, aero, and weight, both models will be more fuel-efficient than ever. But with BMW's "ultimate driving machine" catchphrase becoming more and more symbolic in the line up, will the X3 prove to be just another premium SUV in the field or remain the driver's choice?
The new X3 is also expected to be the first model launched to hold BMW's M Performance model.
Being an all-new model, the styling, or lack of depending on your viewpoint, has been "completely redesigned" from the ground up.
M Sport models benefit from a range of racier features such as sports seats, and each X3 can be further upgraded with the BMW Individual programme. The options list will include forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control, as well as a head-up display. The X3's iDrive control puck rides shotgun to its space-age shifter joystick, and the dash wears interesting brackets of metallic or wood trim. The X3 has some wider air intakes, and the crossover SUV sits somewhat lower and wider on its wheels than in the last generation.
Hence the importance of having an adequate rival to Audi's new Q5, Mercedes' GLC, and Porsche's Macan. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the new model will go on sale in November.
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