It has taken more than 3 years of drawn-out internal discussion and a change of chairmanship in the process, but BMW’s long-rumored 3series based crossover/utility vehicle finally has been granted production approval.
The crossover market is on fire both in Europe and here in the States. After noting the success of the X3 and X5, BMW is looking to continue to cash in on this burgeoning market with the upcoming F3, which has just received the all-important green light for production from management. The folks over at AutoWeek are reporting that the F3 will be based loosely on the next generation X3, with similar powertrains and underpinnings.
AutoWeek’s rendering of the F3 bares some resemblance to the slow-selling Mercedes R-Class, except where the R-Class has to mix it up with large SUVs and full-size station wagons in the $50,000 – $75,000 range, the F3 will fight with small crossover owners armed with BMW’s cachet and a much lower price-point. The rendered images of the F3 show a stout people mover with a long wheelbase that pushes each wheel to the far corners of the vehicle.
Since the F3 is just now getting the green light for production, we can’t imagine a scenario where this small, RWD crossover hits dealerships before the end of the decade. If you want a relatively inexpensive BMW that handles like a BMW while being able to haul people and stuff, this may be your dream ride because the X3 certainly doesn’t fit that bill. If you’re already sick of crossovers, then you’re going to be in for a long ride. [Source: AutoWeek]