Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2011 BMW X3

The all-new 2011 BMW X3 will be among the most economical and fuel-efficient mid-sized SUV’s when it arrives in the UK in late November. The entry-level 2.0 litre 181bhp manual X3 xDrive20d will offer combined fuel economy figure of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km, 147g/km with automatic transmission. The X3 eclipses the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170 by 4.8mpg and 14g/km.

The new SUV is bigger than the outgoing model. The 2011 X3 is now measuring at 4,648mm, more than 75mm longer, width decreases by 4mm at 1,855mm and height rises by 14mm at 1,675mm. The wheelbase is also bigger by 15mm to 2,810mm, enough to increase by boot by 70 litres, to 550 litres.

As well as the 181bhp 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder diesel in the xDrive20d, BMW will add a 3.0 litre 302bhp, turbocharged straight six petrol dubbed xDrive35i, rivalling directly with the Land Rover Freelander 3.2i T6, Audi Q5 3.2 FSI Quattro and Volvo XC60 3.0 litre T6. The xDrive35i will emit 204g/km and will return around 32.1mpg combined and will be mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission.

The diesel will come with the choice of either a 6 speed manual or an optional ZF-engineered 8 speed automatic. Both gearboxes offer a standard stop-start function and operate with the brake energy recuperation system.

More X3 variants are in the pipeline; a 254bhp 3.0 litre xDrive28i petrol and a 201bhp xDrive23d twin-turbocharged, 4 cylinder diesel. These engines are due in Summer 2011. A FWD is available, however, no rear-wheel-drive is planned for the UK, although BMW is still considering launching the model in North America.

Production of the new X3 will take place at BMW’s Spartanburg facility in North America alongside the X5 and X6. Prices in the UK start from £30,490 and for that, you get 17” alloy wheels, x6 airbags, stop/start, cruise control, front & rear fog lights, DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) w/ hill-start assist & hill-descent control, heated windscreen, gear-shift efficiency indicator, tyre pressure warning system, front & rear parking sensors, automatic rain & windscreen sensor, leather interior w/ 60:40 split folding rear seats, roof-rails, automatic climate control, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and multi-function leather steering wheel as standard.

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