The Bavarian brand has officially announced its redesigned 2007 BMW X3 compact crossover SUV. Still sharing its components with the German carmaker’s current E46-series BMW 330xi all-wheel drive compact sedan, the new vehicle seems to only offer some updates including new body plastics, new engine, optimized suspension and refreshed interior.
Scheduled to go on sale this fall, the top version of the car will now feature a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine, their most powerful power plant derived from a much heavier 535d model. Test drives to follow, but it seems that this new car will be anything, but sluggish.
However, as usual, the version with the oil burner will not be offered to North American motorists that still seem to prefer V8 gasoline-powered monsters to more efficient, but heavily stigmatized for their past sins low-displacement diesels. Also, highly fuel-efficient and offering a nuclear blast-like amount of torque, the engine is still considered too dirty by the local authorities.
According to official press-release, the twin-turbo engine produces healthy 286 hp of power and 580 Nm of torque and lets the new 2007 BMW X3 accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 6.6 seconds, which is about the same (give a take a 0.05 seconds) as that of current Lexus RX 350 and way faster than 0-60 acceleration of the 2007 Acura RDX that, too, tries to emphasize the “S” in “SUV”. Equipped with a diesel engine, it is clearly more ‘sport’ than ‘utility’ vehicle.
Its maximum speed also never disappoints topping at 240 km/h (149 mph) and making it a perfect grand tourer for a small family that plans to put on thousands of kilometers on German autobahns.
Competing against the 2007 Lexus RX350 and Cadillac SRX, the new BMW X3 will also feature different choice of interior appointments that, depending on your personal tastes and the size of your wallet, allow you to order the vehicle with a cabin of your choice, starting with something Spartan (but still quite comfortable and highly ergonomic) and going all the way up to premium leather upholstery and natural wood.
As I have already noted, the car also sports new exterior elements, such as a larger kidney grille, a color-coded spoiler with vertical uprights, and the new fog-lights incorporated into the main section of the body work.
The rear lights now feature rods of LED lights.
The new BMW X3 also features traction control system allied to xDrive four-wheel-drive system. For the first time on a BMW Xn model Dynamic Stability Control + (DSC+) system is fitted as standard.
In addition to the allround traction control benefits of such technology, DSC+ on the X3 comes with four additional features aimed at improving safety.
However, it must be noted that BMW’s xDrive technology is designed for the car to be more or less manageable on a snowy road or on asphalt covered with black ice.
If you will, on the other hand, find yourself on a muddy forest trail with your wheels wrapped in high-performance summer tires (it is a performance SUV, not a compact version of Nissan Patrol, remember?) you may be deeply disappointed in your vehicle’s off-road abilities.
Prices and full specification will be announced later.
See also: 2007 Dodge Nitro SUV unveiled