Revised X3 to feature 286 HP 'Super Diesel'
BMW have updated its compact SUV with a subtly re-worked bodyshell and the addition to the range of the most powerful diesel engine ever to power a production BMW in the UK. The powerplant is a twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel with an output of 286hp and 580Nm of torque that has been developed from the engine used by the BMW 535d. Such power gives the X3 3.0sd sports car acceleration courtesy of a zero to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds and a 149mph top speed.
By using two turbochargers, one smaller one larger, the X3 3.0sd offers high levels of low down pulling power as well as top end performance. It can do this because the smaller turbo boosts at low revs for instant, smooth and swift acceleration, but as engine speed builds the larger turbocharger comes into play to continue the rapid progress. The result is an engine that develops peak torque from just 1,750rpm through to 2,250rpm, but is capable of continuing to rev up to 4,400rpm – an unusually high limit for a diesel. The car also features two new six-cylinder petrol engines, a 2.5-litre 218hp and a new 272hp 3.0-litre both based on the world’s lightest production six-cylinder engine constructed of aluminium and magnesium alloy.
With the exception of the BMW X3 3.0si and 3.0sd, which use a six-speed automatic gearbox, all X3 variants come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A six-speed automatic gearbox is also an option on all six-cylinder engined cars.
Visually BMW’s designers have subtly altered the car to freshen its appeal. At the front a larger kidney grille sits above a redesigned front bumper and spoiler. On the new car a colour-coded spoiler with vertical uprights is positioned below the dark swathe of the bumper, while the front foglights are now incorporated into the main section of the bodywork. The X3 3.0sd rides on 18-inch light alloy wheels as standard while larger twin exhaust pipes protrude from under the rear valance.
The side profile remains true to the original X3, but the new rear light clusters feature rods of LED lights. The styling of the rear bodywork has also changed with colour-coded panels now extending lower down the bodywork.
Inside, the driver can get to grips with a new style of three-spoke steering wheel while enhancements to the type of materials used on the centre console have also been included. Again, the owner of a X3 3.0sd gets special treatment with stainless steel foot pedals to underscore the performance nature of the vehicle.
Two other choices of engine are available. A 150hp 2.0-litre diesel represents the entry point of X3 ownership. Further up the scale the existing 218hp 3.0-litre diesel engine is also offered.
Prices and full specification of the new X3 will be announced before its on sale date in the autumn.
Text: Classic Driver
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