Science

BMW X3 G01 Goes Official, Transitions From SAV to SUV

BMW X3 G01 Goes Official, Transitions From SAV to SUV

Into an increasingly crowded market segment, BMW is about to re-launch the X3 SUV, with a new, lighter platform, subtly re-shaped styling, and the promise of some petrol engines to alleviate anyone's diesel worries.

The new BMW X3 2018 for the first time will get charged modification M40i.

A wicked M40i will be available, packing a 265kW/500Nm punch. Judge for yourself. BMW says the X3 M40i hits 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. It can accelerate to 100 km/h in around 5 and will spend an average of 8.4 l/100 km. Around back, larger taillights and a bigger rear window are the most pronounced visual differences between the new version and the outgoing model. The M40i will go on sale soon after, as will an xDrive 20i petrol unit.

Covering the diesel range is the xDrive20d with a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, up to the xDrive30d with its 3.0-litre turbo-diesel six developing 195kW and 620Nm. The former replaces the xDrive28i and is motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-litre gasoline engine with 248 horsepower (up by 8 hp) and 258 pound-feet of torque channeled to both axles through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The steering and suspension are retuned to match the vehicle's higher performance. The third-generation 2018 X3 doesn't deviate too far from the look of the past two models, but the big news is that its wheelbase has been stretched 2.2 inches to give it more interior room.

Proof that it's more about the "Sport" than the "Utility" arrives in the form of a 55kg weight cut, 50:50 weight distribution and talk of "reduced unsprung mass". All-wheel drive is standard across the range. BMW touts improved underbody sealing to reduce drag.

BMW tends to keep its trim levels relatively simple and the new X3 will be offered in three core variants - all of which are well equipped.

From the outside the X3 wears a new suit penned by Australian designer Calvin Luk, who was also responsible for the design of the current X1. Opting for the M Sport package brings an aggressive-looking body kit similar to that on the M40i, as well as standard 19-inch wheels.

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Inside, a driver-focused cockpit features yet again. The auto will also get reworked interiors and several new features can be expected. Upholstery and trim are dependent on the model grade selected.

Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard, and the 40:20:40 folding rear seats can be set at different heights to accomodate cargo of all shapes and sizes.

Other tech highlights include a number of posh nav systems - with the highly gimmicky gesture control available - plus a head-up display and CoPilot, BMW's take on semi-autonomous driving.

Hence the importance of having an adequate rival to Audi's new Q5, Mercedes' GLC, and Porsche's Macan.

The new-gen X3 will start its global roll-out during the fourth quarter of this year, with a local launch to commence from around November.

Meanwhile, BMW has not announced a diesel engine for the new X3.


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