BMW has just unveiled the new X3, and it looks to be quite an improvement over the previous generation. Primary motivation for the new model comes from a pair of familiar 3.0-liter I-6s, one naturally-aspirated motor, and another fitted with a turbo. Shifting duties are handled by an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is shared with the 760Li, the new 5-Series, and the X5 and X6 ranges.
In terms of design, the new X3 is a clear evolution of the previous generation. In place of the oddly-shaped headlights of the previous generation are new downward-swept units that give the X3 a more aggressive look. BMW’s signature twin-kidney grille looks like it could have come straight from the 7-Series. The changes on the rear are harder to distinguish, with the inside portion of the taillights changing slightly. In general, there should be no mistaking this new model for anything but an X3.
The X3’s interior gets a similar upgrade, sharing design elements with BMW’s current range. Anyone who has driven a current-generation BMW will be immediately at home in the new cabin, with HVAC controls, a shifter, and an iDrive interface that could have come from any BMW. BMW claims to have upgraded the interior materials, which is a welcome improvement from the previous generation.
BMW is continuing X3 production at its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant, and is aiming to have the X3 in dealer showrooms by the end of the year. Watch this space for more information as it becomes available, including pricing and first-drive reviews.
Please scroll down for the official BMW press release.
The New BMW X3
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – July 14, 2010 … In 2004 BMW introduced a new concept to the market: the small, premium Sports Activity Vehicle with all-road capability and unparalleled driving dynamics. This first generation BMW X3 became a best seller in the BMW line…both in the United States and in Europe. Through its lifecycle, over 600,000 original X3s have been sold worldwide with 150,000 sold in the USA. Subsequently, several competitors have entered the now hotly-contested segment.
The new second generation BMW X3 builds on the success of the original by developing its core competencies while adding new technology to establish new benchmarks for agility, efficiency and comfort. The new BMW X3 will be produced in an expansion of the BMW Spartanburg, South Carolina plant and is expected to arrive in US BMW Centers by the end of 2010.
The design of the new BMW X3 conveys elegance, agility and ruggedness. Up front, the forward-slanting BMW kidney grille and large headlight assembly combine with a powerful-looking front apron and hood boasting six contour lines sweeping down to meet at the kidney grill, giving the X3 a bold presence. The twin round headlights combined with the round fog lamps form the triangular light pattern that is characteristic of BMW SAV design. The upper edge of the headlight assembly sports an accentuating chrome trim, creating the focused design typical of BMW vehicles. BMW’s signature “Corona Rings” are again illuminated to function as the daytime running lights. When equipped with the optional Xenon headlights, the Corona Rings and daytime running lights are illuminated by bright white LEDs.
The profile of the new BMW X3 is also characterized by a unique interpretation of typical BMW X design features. Powerfully flared wheel arches and the short front and rear overhangs emphasize the robust character of a BMW Sports Activity Vehicle. The dynamic appearance of the silhouette is accentuated by three characteristic lines. The new BMW X3’s brand-typical upper contour line at door handle level rises steeply at first within the front wheel arch area, then flows gently to the rear. Two additional subtle lines follow this contour line above the wheel arches.
The rear is characterized by horizontal lines, underlining the new BMW X3’s robust character. Precise lines and expressively modeled surfaces create attractive light and shadow effects. The taillights, which are located far to the outside, have a distinctive T-shape that is characteristic of the BMW X3. LED light bars create a distinctive BMW night-time design signature.
Dimensionally, compared to its predecessor the new X3 is a half-inch (12mm) taller, 3.36-inches (83mm) longer, 1.1-inches (28mm) wider, and features a half-inch (12mm) more ground clearance. It rides on a wheelbase which is 0.6-inches (15mm) longer, at 110.6 inches (2810mm).
Interior: First-class ambience, intelligent functionality.
A generous and versatile spatial concept, high-grade materials and a characteristic three-dimensional surface design provide the interior of the new BMW X3 with a modern, premium ambience and intelligent functionality. The horizontal lines of the instrument panel accentuate the width of the interior. The driver orientated cockpit, a hallmark of BMW design, is emphasized by the asymmetrically designed center console. The Central Display of the optional navigation system with fourth generation BMW iDrive is harmoniously integrated into the instrument panel. The system features in 8.8-inch high-resolution trans-reflective screen that is the largest on-board monitor in its vehicle segment. Throughout the vehicle, new BMW X3 has a large number of storage compartments, trays and cup holders.
The raised seating position facilitates egress and ingress, while providing outstanding outward visibility. The three rear seats offer outstanding comfort for travelling long distances and significantly more leg and elbow room than its predecessor. With EU-measured cargo volume between 19 and 56.6 cu.ft. (550 and 1,600 liters), the luggage compartment of the new BMW X3 is the largest in its segment. At the same time, the versatility with which available space can be adapted to suit each personal requirement is also unrivalled. The rear seat backrests can be split at a ratio 60 : 40 and can be folded down either individually or together. The optional rear seats with ski pass-through has three segments of 40 : 20 : 40 can be folded down individually or in combination making it possible to adapt the luggage compartment in varying degrees according to need.
The X3 xDrive28i: 6-cylinder power for the entry model.
For the US, the entry-level X3 xDrive28i will feature BMW’s award-winning magnesium/aluminum 3.0-liter inline-6. In 2006 and 2007, the “N52” was awarded the distinction of being one of Wards 10 Best Engines of the Year. Its magnesium/aluminum construction, Valvetronic variable valve lift and Double-VANOS are features found only on BMW engines, and it is currently the lightest six cylinder engine for its size class in the world. The N52 in the X3 is rated at 240 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 230 lb-ft of torque between 2,600 and 3,000 rpm.
That’s good enough to accelerate from 0 -60 mph in 6.7 seconds (preliminary). That’s nearly a half-second quicker than the previous X3 xDrive30i equipped with an automatic transmission.
The X3 xDrive35i: Class leading performance and efficiency.
The new top model BMW X3 xDrive35i features BMW’s newest turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 “N55” engine combining direct fuel injection, twin-scroll turbo technology and Valvetronic. The N55 engine develops a maximum output of 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, with peak torque of 300 lb-ft available all the way from 1,200–5,000 rpm. Redline is 7,000 rpm.
This engine enables the X3 xDrive35i to sprint from 0 to 60mph in just 5.5 seconds (preliminary). Top speed is electronically limited to 150mph when fitted with the optional Sport Package.
Both the BMW X3 xDrive28i and the X3 xDrive35i will offer not only the most dynamic driving characteristics in their categories, but also by far the most favorable fuel consumption and emission levels within their class. EPA fuel efficiency estimates will be provided closer to the on-sale date in the United States.
Playing a supporting role: The innovative new 8-speed automatic transmission.
Like many new BMW models, the new X3 features an 8-speed automatic transmission which brings smooth shifting, sportiness and efficiency to new levels of perfection. Compared to the exemplary 6-speed automatic offered previously, the 8-speed has “taller” cruising gears that make a significant contribution to reduced fuel consumption and emissions, as well as quietness. Its wider spread of ratios from lowest to highest gear enhances acceleration and response across the range of driving speeds. The revolutionary design even allows for direct shifts from 8th gear to 2nd gear for maximum acceleration.
This new automatic’s attributes have been achieved via an innovative concept that provides the two additional ratios (7 and 8) with no increase in bulk or weight. In a ground-breaking arrangement, four planetary gearsets and five clutch packs are controlled in a way that no more than two of the five clutch packs are freewheeling at any given time. The modest increase in the number of mechanical elements allows the new transmission to achieve unusually high efficiency. The so-called “gearing efficiency” is higher than 98% in all eight gears. . In 6th, gearing efficiency is at its optimum because that is a direct drive. Combine this with reduced friction and the ability to keep the torque converter “locked up” more of the total driving time, and the transmission becomes very much a part of the overall BMW EfficientDynamics concept.
Two additional gears mean threefold progress: quicker shifts, greater smoothness, enhanced efficiency.
The wider spread of ratios allows the engine to run at lower speeds, often in the “tallest” gear, 8th. Yet even with this wider spread, the steps between adjacent gears are reduced; in turn this means a stronger, smoother flow of power during acceleration.
Faster shifts are a further benefit because only one clutch pack is disengaged to shift up or down by one or two gears. On the other hand, downshifting more than two gears is accomplished as a direct shift. For example, a downshift from 8th to 2nd gear is made with only one clutch pack disengagement, and thus occurs without stepping down through the intermediate gears. So, at one instant the driver can be enjoying the quiet, fuel-efficient low rpm of 8th gear, and in the next instant getting maximum acceleration.
New suspension, xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive, and made-to-measure dynamics.
The new BMW X3 features standard xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. Now in its third generation, BMW xDrive has been revised to incorporate even more flexibility, quicker response and improved handling characteristics. The new system marks a significant evolution in xDrive capabilities, which has always depended upon a networking of Dynamic Stability Control and the xDrive system. With the overall Integrated Chassis Management system, all three control circuits work in parallel. This refined interaction achieves even quicker reactions to changing driving conditions and enhances xDrive’s already outstanding handling dynamics.
BMW xDrive is unique in design and construction. In normal conditions, driving torque is always transmitted to the rear wheels, and most of the time to all four wheels. Normal torque split is 40% front/60% rear. The portion of torque transmitted to the front wheels is controlled by a multi-disc clutch that can be fully open (100% to the rear), fully engaged or at any level of partial engagement in between. The torque split between rear and front wheels is thus steplessly variable. Engagement pressure on the multi-disc clutch is directed by an electronic control system in response to actual road and driving conditions. This gives xDrive a dynamic ability that is unparalleled by other all-wheel drive systems.
The new BMW X3 also features completely redeveloped suspension technology. The combination of a double-joint spring-strut suspension at the front and a multi-link rear suspension provides the foundation for agility and driving comfort. The standard Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering contributes to the X3’s precise handling.
The X3’s optional Electronic Damping Control adjusts the shock absorbers to any level of firmness, quickly adapting to road conditions and the driver’s demands.. Suspension control is always optimum for current road conditions, vehicle speed, and load. The shocks default to the softest appropriate setting for the vehicle’s speed, and when the vehicle encounters an irregular road surface, they adjust instantaneously to control ride motions, preserve ride comfort, and maintain adhesion to the road. The system is so fast that even at highway speeds the system can sense a pothole at a front wheel and adjust rear-wheel damping before it reaches the same pothole. The Electronic Damping Control option includes a new Performance Control feature on the X3. Performance Control helps the X3 maintain a neutral handling character by adjusting the xDrive torque split to 20% front/80% rear in steady state cornering. Performance Control can also apply the inside rear brake while also applying a little more power to the outside wheel (to compensate for the additional drag of the brake) in order to help rotate the vehicle.
Adjacent to the E-Shift lever on the X3’s center console is the optional Driving Dynamics Control selector (included with EDC). DDC provides three settings that tailor vehicle characteristics to different drivers, one driver’s different moods, driving conditions – or all of the above. The settings are Normal, Sport and Sport Plus; the following vehicle-dynamics parameters are affected:
* Shock-absorber firmness (within the Electronic Damping Control system)
* Engine throttle response
* Transmission shift characteristics
* Power-steering assist level
* Dynamic Stability Control mode
The X3’s driving dynamics can be widely controlled by these different calibrations of so many elements. In addition, when equipped with the Navigation system, the driver may use iDrive to custom-tailor the Sport setting.
Just ahead of the Driving Dynamics Control switch is the Dynamic Stability Control switch for BMW’s all-encompassing stability- and traction-control system. A brief push on this button switches the system to Dynamic Traction Control, in which DSC’s intervention threshold is raised; one effect of this setting is improved traction in deep snow. A long push on the same button de-activates DSC altogether, though the anti-lock braking and anti-rollover functions always remain active.
An extensive range of standard and optional BMW ConnectedDrive functions.
BMW ConnectedDrive comprises all offers and technologies which connect our vehicles, drivers and passengers, and the outside world. ConnectedDrive is comprised of three main pillars: Convenience, Infotainment, and Safety. Each of these three pillars operates and interacts seamlessly with iDrive and other onboard controls to create a unique and unmatched experience for both the driver and passengers. These features will be outlined in detail at a later date.
Production at the BMW Spartanburg plant.
The new BMW X3 is produced at the BMW Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.. With the production of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 models, the location, has become the competence center for BMW X models within the BMW Group’s worldwide production network. Thanks to a comprehensive $750 million expansion, BMW Plant Spartanburg is ready to produce the new X3 for distribution around the world.
Agility and comfort, sportiness and efficiency, ruggedness and elegance, flexibility and premium ambience – the new BMW X3 fulfils the varying demands made on a modern Sports Activity Vehicle. With its multifaceted qualities it sets new standards in the segment established by its predecessor. The all-new X3 is due to arrive in US showrooms by the end of 2010
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 336 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 97 MINI passenger car dealers, and 31 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
The BMW Group
With its three brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – the BMW Group is one of the world’s most successful premium manufacturers of cars and motorcycles. It operates internationally with 24 production sites in 13 countries and a global sales network with representation in more than 140 countries.
During the financial year 2009, the BMW Group sold approximately 1.29 million cars and more than 87,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for 2009 was euro 413 million, revenues totaled euro 50.68 billion. At 31.December 2009, the BMW Group had a workforce of approximately 96,000 employees.
Long-term thinking and responsible action have long been the foundation of the BMW Group’s success. Striving for ecological and social sustainability along the entire value-added chain, taking full responsibility for our products and giving an unequivocal commitment to preserving resources are prime objectives firmly embedded in our corporate strategies. For these reasons, the BMW Group has been sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the last five years.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:
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