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: X3 Pics & Info

04-09-2003, 05:33 PM

04-09-2003, 05:33 PM

04-09-2003, 05:34 PM

04-09-2003, 05:34 PM
Today's edition


Is there time to draw breath in BMW's design department? We don't think so, because only a week after we showed you official pictures of the radical new 5-Series the current magazine is carrying sensational shots of the forthcoming compact X3 off-roader.

Sticking closely to the styling of the xActivity concept revealed at last year's Detroit Motor Show, the new model, which will be sold alongside the larger X5, retains the fussy front rear light clusters and unusual detailing of the prototype car. BMW's double-kidney grille features, and the sharp creases on the bonnet and doors, continue the firm's current design themes.

The X3's most distinctive touch is at the rear three-quarters, with a sharply rising window line and a thick chrome surround. The wheels come straight from the X5, as do the short front and back overhangs, which give a chunky look.

Set to be built in Austria, the 4x4 will go on sale in spring of next year, and should offer the kind of driving experience which is synonymous with the marque - great stability and a refined ride. To match this sporty handling, both petrol and diesel engines will be offered. The range of unleaded powerplants will include a flagship 400bhp V8 plus a 3.0-litre straight-six, although the firm predicts that the 2.0 and 3.0-litre oil-burners will be the big sellers.

Inside, the cabin is pure BMW, with a beefed-up 3-Series dashboard and automatic transmission. The chrome-rimmed, hooded dials hint at the X3's driver appeal, although it's likely that trim will be changed slightly on production models. For those who venture off-road, the newcomer will be fitted with an innovative permanent four-wheel-drive system. And mud-plugging pedigree is assured by the fact that Land Rover helped with the design before the firms split in 2000.

The drivetrain will incorporate active traction control, which adjusts automatically to rugged or slippery terrain, while active suspension will allow the spring and damper set-up to alter on demanding surfaces. It will also become firmer to provide a sportier drive on asphalt.

Unfortunately, the convertible roof of the concept won't make it into production, but the sliding boot floor could remain to allow easy loading. A three-door version hasn't been ruled out, either. In a push to bring BMW to more mainstream markets, the base X3 is likely to cost a tempting 20,000. Expect the production car to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Chris Thorp


04-09-2003, 05:37 PM
Looks like it's related to the land rover freelander ! :thumbdwn:

04-09-2003, 05:48 PM
They could have done so much more with this thing. I would have loved the raised-speedster look of the FX45 copied a bit. If you're gonna make such a vehicle at least make it LOOK attractive. :(

04-09-2003, 06:23 PM
I think it looks kind of cool from those pictures. :confused:

However, I hate those hooded gauges. They just look goofy. :thumbdwn:

04-09-2003, 06:32 PM
I dont really mind it, at least it seems to me like a "BMWish" thing to do. Too bad it has only 2 gauges like in the new 5 series :thumbdwn:

04-09-2003, 06:56 PM
Looks like they borrowed the cluster from the Z4. Don't really car for the exterior, but I guess that shouldn't be a surprise. :thumbdwn:

04-09-2003, 07:47 PM
and btw the roof spoiler is a bit overdone :confused: