Earlier this week, Magna Steyr's line in Austria built a red xDrive35d example of the last current-generation X3. Hours later, the first 2011 model rolled off the line in BMW’s own production facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Just a few months ago, BMW launched its all-new 2011 X3 crossover and it had recently gone into production.
Sales will begin this fall. With the launching of the 2011 X3, BMW relocated production of the small crossover from Magna Steyr's plant in Graz, Austria, to its own production facility in Spartanburg.
With the inclusion of X3 production in the Spartanburg plant, this means that three of the four BMW X SUVs will be produced in the US.
Since the South Carolina plant already builds the X5 and X6, BMW calls it the “expertise center for the BMW X models." The new X3 is significantly improved from the old model.
The new model no longer has a harsh crossover with a boring interior. The vehicle is based on the current-generation E90 3 Series, and has increased in size to give way to the X1, a smaller sibling.
At the start, the X3 will be available with two versions of BMW's 3.0-liter I-6, the normally aspirated N52 and single-turbo N55. There are reports that a hybrid is coming.
To meet future CAFE regulations, it’s possible that there will be other future powertrain additions, including small four-cylinder and diesel engines. In the US, the sole transmission is ZF's eight-speed automatic, which is seen prominently in BMW's lineup. The 2011 X3 will arrive at BMW dealerships throughout the country this fall.