The silly renderings and spy photos games of the new 2011 BMW X3 come to an end. With just days away from its official unveiling, the second generation X3 goes through another drawing exercise.
The result? In our opinion, quite stunning and if the actual design is close to these renderings, the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK will be facing a tough competitor.
With the new F25 platform, the 2011 BMW X3 uses many components from both the 3 Series and 5 Series. The compact SAV grew in size 8 centimeters long, 3 cm wide and 1.2 cm in height. The wheelbase was also extended by 9 cm.
Despite the dimensions increase, the new BMW X3 offers safety improvements and increased protection of pedestrians, since there is now a greater distance between the hood and engine, and the other mechanical elements that surround.
Design wise, the 2011 BMW X3 was rumored to be moving from the “boxy” shape and sharp corners to more rounded design lines and a sleeker look. Recent spy photos revealed that the car maintains some of these “boxy” lines, but at overall dimensions closer to the first generation X5, and with a more appealing look.
The hood has been redesigned as well, it now features the creases seen on all newer BMW models, which give the car a more aggressive and imposing stance.
At the initial launch, there are only two engines available, the 2.0 diesel 184 horsepower (xDrive20d), which lowers consumption by 15%, and the 3.0 six-cylinder petrol (xDrive35i), with 306 hp and 400 Nm peak torque. The latter has gone from using a twin-turbocharged to one turbo(N55 engine), with clear advantages in performance: it gives the same power and it uses 9% less fuel.
Gradually, the range will be expanded with new engines. First, a six-cylinder petrol engine with 256 hp (xDrive28i) launching in January next year. Later in Spring, another six-cylinder diesel with around 260 hp (xDrive30d) will appear. By the fall, the xDrive35d with 306 horsepower will be launched as well.
The entry level models will use a new 4-cylinder petrol powerplant which is not available until late 2011 or early 2012.
Paris Motor Show was chosen as the host of world premiere of the new BMW X3.