Six years after the introduction of the first X3, BMW has lifted the wraps off the all-new second generation model that grows in dimensions and gains new engines. The new X3 will go on sale by the end of 2010, following its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in late September. It will be built at BMW's Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.
Although familiar in shape, the exterior design of the new BMW X3 is less complicated and more 'clean' than the outgoing model incorporating styling elements from the X1 and X5 as well as from the latest 5-Series including the more prominent double kidney grille and concave surfaces on the hood.
The interior has been redesigned from the ground up and now features a classic four-dial instrument layout along with a more driver orientated center console housing a large 8.8-inch high-resolution screen.
The new X3 makes use of the next 3-Series architecture. Dimension-wise, the 2011 X3 is a half an inch (12mm) taller, 3.36-inches (83mm) longer, 1.1-inches (28mm) wider, and features a half-inch (12mm) more ground clearance than the outgoing first-generation model. It also rides on a wheelbase which is 0.6-inches (15mm) longer, at 110.6 inches (2,810mm).
This should result to improved space for passengers. BMW says that the new X3 gets the largest boot in its segment with a luggage capacity between 19 and 56.6 cu.ft. (550 and 1,600 liters) - depending on the position of the split rear seat back.
In the U.S., the 2011 X3 will be offered at launch with two straight six-engines, both matted to a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
The entry-level X3 xDrive28i features BMW's 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 240HP at 6,600 rpm and 230 lb-ft of torque between 2,600 and 3,000 rpm, enough to accelerate from 0 -60 mph in 6.7 seconds or half-a-second quicker than the previous X3 xDrive30i equipped with an automatic transmission.
The flagship X3 xDrive35i gets the Bavarian firm's newest turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six "N55" engine combining direct fuel injection, twin-scroll turbo technology and Valvetronic. It produces an output of 300HP at 5,800 rpm, with peak torque of 300 lb-ft available all the way from 1,200–5,000 rpm. Redline is 7,000 rpm.
With this engine, the new X3 sprints from 0 to 60mph (96km/h) in 5.5 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 155mpg (250km/h) when fitted with the optional Sport Package.
In Europe, the 2011 X3 will be available with two engine variants at launch. The xDrive20d is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine delivering 184HP and 380Nm / 280.2 lb-ft, hooked up to a standard six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed auto.
It can accelerate from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in 8.5 seconds and top out at 210km/h (131mph), while returning a combined fuel economy of 5.6 lt/100km (42mpg US or 50.4mpg UK).
The top-end X3 xDrive35i makes use of the same straight-six turbo found on the U.S.-spec model, however output is rated at 306HP and 400Nm / 295 lb-ft. This engine enables the X3 to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 5.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 245 km/h (152mph). Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 8.8 lt/100 km (26.7mpg US or 32.1mpg UK) and the CO2 emission level is 204 g/km.
More engine variants including four-cylinder gasoline engines and a 204HP 2.0-liter diesel will be introduced to the range in late 2011.
All xDrive models feature the latest generation of BMW's intelligent all-wheel drive that splits torque 40 per cent to the front wheels and 60 per cent at the rear under normal driving conditions.
European Engine variants:
BMW X3 xDrive20d:
-Straight four-cylinder diesel engine with aluminium crankcase, turbocharger and common Rail direct injection,
-Displacement: 1,995 cc, power output: 135 kW/184 bhp at 4,000 rpm, max. -Torque: 380 Nm at 1,750 – 2,750 rpm,
-Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h]: 8.5 seconds,
-Top speed: 210 km/h,
-Average fuel consumption according to EU: 5.6 litres/100 km,
-CO2 emission according to EU: 149 g/km,
-Exhaust emission standard: EU5.
BMW X3 xDrive35i:
-Straight six-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo, direct injection and VALVETRONIC,
-Displacement: 2,979 cc, power output: 225 kW/306 bhp at 5,800 rpm,
-Max. torque: 400 Nm at 1,300 rpm,
-Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h]: 5.7 seconds,
-Top speed: 245 km/h,
-Average fuel consumption according to EU: 8.8 litres/100 km,
-CO2 emission according to EU: 204 g/km,
-Exhaust emission standard: EU5.