Automotive

Punchy M40i headlines high-tech third-generation BMW X3

Punchy M40i headlines high-tec...
The new BMW X3
The new BMW X3
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BMW has totally reworked the X3 SUV for its third generation
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BMW has totally reworked the X3 SUV for its third generation 
The new X3 looks compact, but has grown in every direction
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The new X3 looks compact, but has grown in every direction  
The new nose on the BMW X3 fits better with the rest of the brand's lineup
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The new nose on the BMW X3 fits better with the rest of the brand's lineup
The BMW X3 M40i is the first performance model in the BMW X3 lineup
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The BMW X3 M40i is the first performance model in the BMW X3 lineup
The new look on the BMW X3 is evolutionary, not revolutionary
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The new look on the BMW X3 is evolutionary, not revolutionary 
The detail on the new BMW M40i is impressive
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The detail on the new BMW M40i is impressive
The wheels on the BMW X3 M40i look very similar to those on the M240i
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The wheels on the BMW X3 M40i look very similar to those on the M240i
Vents behind the front wheel arches on the X3 help improve its drag coefficient
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Vents behind the front wheel arches on the X3 help improve its drag coefficient
The taillights on the new BMW X3 have a cool three-dimensional look to them
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The taillights on the new BMW X3 have a cool three-dimensional look to them 
Although it's longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new X3 is only 1mm taller
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Although it's longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new X3 is only 1mm taller 
The new BMW X3
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The new BMW X3
The boot in the X3 is 550 liters with the rear seats in place
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The boot in the X3 is 550 liters with the rear seats in place
All three seats in the BMW X3 fold individually
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All three seats in the BMW X3 fold individually 
The interior of the BMW X3 borrows heavily from its more expensive brothers
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The interior of the BMW X3 borrows heavily from its more expensive brothers
BMW is keen to point out the fact this is a X3
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BMW is keen to point out the fact this is a X3
Details on the BMW X3 interior
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Details on the BMW X3 interior 
BMW is offering an M Performance model on the X3
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BMW is offering an M Performance model on the X3 
The usual range of driver assistance systems are available in the X3
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The usual range of driver assistance systems are available in the X3
The panoramic sunroof on the BMW X3
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The panoramic sunroof on the BMW X3 
The BMW X3 will debut later this year
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The BMW X3 will debut later this year
BMW has made an effort to make the X3 look tougher
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BMW has made an effort to make the X3 look tougher 
The aggressive new nose on the BMW X3
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The aggressive new nose on the BMW X3
Behind the wheel of the new BMW X3
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Behind the wheel of the new BMW X3
The new BMW X3
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The new BMW X3 
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The BMW X3 was one of the first mid-size luxury four-wheel drives on the market back in 2003, before the second-generation car refined the formula in 2010. Now, in the midst of stiff competition from all angles, BMW has whipped the covers off a better looking, more powerful third-generation X3.

Although it's an all-new car, you could be forgiven for thinking BMW has just given the old car a minor nip-and-tuck. Up front, the blocky snout of the outgoing model has been replaced with a more aggressive look, complete with headlamps to match the latest 5 and 7 Series. The body is 60 mm (2.4 in) longer, 10 mm (0.4 in) wider and a fingernail taller than the outgoing car, but the styling team has done a good job of hiding the extra bulk.

The new shape isn't just prettier, it's also smarter. Shutters behind the front grille close to improve aerodynamics on the highway, before opening when the engine needs cooling air, while vents on the front flanks help cut turbulence in the wheel arches and contribute to the car's impressive 0.29 drag coefficient.

Although it's longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new X3 is only 1mm taller
Although it's longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new X3 is only 1mm taller 

Along with the exterior, BMW has completely reworked the interior of the X3. A 10.2-inch touchscreen with gesture control is available, as is the excellent color heads-up display and fully digital instrument cluster from the 5 Series. Practicality is key in family cars like this, so the boot has grown to 550 L (19.4 cu.ft) with the rear seats in place or 1,600 L (56.5 cu.ft) with the seats folded.

Power will come from a choice of two diesel and three gasoline engines at launch, headlined by the X3 M40i. It'll be the first true "performance" model in the X3 lineup, aimed directly at the Audi SQ5 with 265 kW (360 hp) of power and 500 Nm of torque from a twin-turbo inline six. It'll hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds, or 0.3 seconds faster than its Audi rival.

The range-topping diesel engine is no slouch either, with 195 kW (265 hp) of power and a whopping 620 Nm of torque for a 5.8 second sprint to 100 km/h. All cars put their power to the road through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and range-topping cars come as standard with xDrive all-wheel drive.

The interior of the BMW X3 borrows heavily from its more expensive brothers
The interior of the BMW X3 borrows heavily from its more expensive brothers

As you'd expect of a modern German family car, a full range of active safety features is available. Auto-emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alerts can all be fitted, as can the semi-autonomous cruise control system that debuted in the 5 Series last year. The central touchscreen can be used to browse the internet when the car is sitting still, and that 3G connection can also be used to provide live traffic updates and find parking spots.

The X3 will likely make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Pricing details are yet to be announced.

Source: BMW

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1 comment
1 comment
guzmanchinky
The X3 does get used off road. A lot.