Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New BMW X3

New BMW X3More powerful, more efficient and more practical mid-sized soft-roader unveiled. BMW has released the first official pictures and details for its second-generation X3 that is set to become the fuel efficiency benchmark for the luxury mid-size SUV segment when it goes on sale locally in March 2011.

The all-new X3, which grows in dimensions to further distance itself from the smaller X1, adopts an eight-speed automatic, engine stop-start function and two new engines for launch to improve its green credentials.

The new model is 79mm longer (to 4648mm) than the outgoing X3 that was roundly criticised since its 2004 launch for both its sharp ride and austere interior. A wheelbase increase of 15mm contributes to BMW’s claims that X3 mark II offers increased rear-seat legroom.

A range-topping model for now is the xDrive35i, which gains the 225kW/400Nm turbocharged six-cylinder that was first introduced on the company’s 5-Series range. Consumption of 8.8L/100km is superior to the 9.7L/100km of the 30i model it replaces.

A six-speed manual is standard on the 20d and the eight-speed auto standard on the 35i. Most car makers are offering stop-start technology with manual gearboxes, but on the X3 it’s also included on auto models.

Boot space also increases, by 70 litres to 550L. This expands to 1600L when the rear seats – which have switched from a 60/40 split to a 40-20-40 arrangement – are folded down. BMW claims the luggage capacity is best in class.

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