BMW's second-generation X3 will have its world debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show but before the event, the Bavarian manufacturer has released its first official information about the offering.
The new X3, which will go on sale in the US in January, will be priced close to the outgoing model. The first-generation model was a raging success; its sales have now topped the 600,000 mark worldwide since it was introduced in 2003.
BMW has high hopes that this new X3, which has been completely redesigned and reengineered, will thrive as well. These images of a preproduction prototype issued by BMW show that the new X3 features the two-box silhouette and hard-edged styling theme that its predecessor was known for. However, its more subtle design features and detailing are hidden by the tape disguise.
An insider told AutoWeek, an affiliate of Automotive News, that the company wanted to make sure that there was a clear visual link with the first-generation model.
But clearly, the X3's dimensions have grown. It rides on adapted four-wheel-drive underpinnings from the all-new 3-series (the E30 due next year). This increase in size puts it at a slot between the X1 and the X5. The X3's interior features a higher-quality dashboard and trim materials than its predecessor.
BMW admits to making the change, saying that it became necessary in order to compete well against new four-wheel drive models. The X3's instruments and switchgear are now as good as to those found in the new 5-series. With the increase in external dimensions, the X3 has a better interior accommodation.
BMW told AutoWeek that when the X3 goes on sale, buyers can choose from four engines. Aimed for North America buyers, the gasoline units include a 268-hp naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder in the X3 xDrive28i.
The X3 xDrive35i has a 302-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. Consumers in Europe will have two turbocharged common-rail diesel options.