German carmaker BMW officially pulled the wraps off the all-new third generation of the mid-size SUV X3 at its factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Monday. One of the best selling X model of BMW originally launched in 2003 now comes with a more evolved and sharper design while missing the 'wow' factor.
To be honest, it is not unexpected. The leaked images of the new X3 last week showed how the new avatar will look like. The SUV comes with the familiar new design approach of X1 and X5 SUVs upfront.
If you are a little confused on what are the changes in the new X3, BMW has included a few split images of the second and third generation of the X3 as part of press tools. There are new hexagonal lights and a bigger, more muscular "3D" kidney grille. While the second generation X3 has integrated inlay for headlights and grille, the new version get separated units. At the rear, a redesigned set of optional LED taillights and a pair of sporty exhaust tips are the new additions. Overall, the design is more of an evolution than a revolution.
Surprisingly, the side view gives a better idea on what has changed in the new X3. BMW engineers have stretched the wheelbase by 5.5 centimeters to free up more space inside the cabin. Despite stretched wheelbase, length of the SUV is not increased and that results less overhangs. BMW also managed to maintain a 50:50 weight balance front to back. All these combined, it is clear that the off-road prowess of the X3 has got significant boost.
The story inside the cabin is also not different. While there are no changes in the basic layout, three-zone climate control system, individually adjustable angle for the rear seats, ventilated front seats, panoramic glass sunroof extended by 9.8 inches, and a new optional head-up display makes the interior premium. The infotainment screen now features gesture and voice control for BMW's ConnectedDrive.
The new X3 range will include three petrol and two diesel engine variants. The highlight here is the first-ever M Performance X3 version with a larger 3.0-litre inline-six engine pushing out 355hp. It needs 4.6 seconds for the 0-100kmph sprint and has a top speed of 250 kmph.
BMW is set to rollout the new X3 in the US by 2017-end. India launch of the new version can be expected in the second half of 2018.