The X3 is the first compact all-wheel drive to combine high performance both on and off road in the lap of luxury. It joins the fastest growing market segment: the luxury SÚV market, which grew by almost 40 percent in 2003, growth levels expected to continue in 2004.
BMW announced pricing for the two model, six-cylinder range prior to the show: the X3 2.5i at $67,900 (new BMW manual 6-speed transmission) and $70,500 (5-speed Steptronic automatic) and the X3 3.0i at $77,600 (5-speed Steptronic automatic only).
In addition to its highly-praised dynamics which will thrill keen drivers, the innovation and functionality of the all-new design and its typical gold-standard BMW build quality, the Australian specification BMW X3 comes fully equipped with a generous array of features and equipment.
Standard fit on all X3 models are BMW's latest Dynamic Stability Control system, eight airbags - including BMW's famed Inflatable Tubular Structure head protecting airbags, multi-function leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise control, 17-inch light alloy wheels, roof rails, rain sensor and automatic headlight control, fog lights, climate control air conditioning, on board computer and CD radio.
The BMW X3 also offers the discerning buyer a wide range of optional equipment with which to personalise their purchase. Two particular highlights are the new Panorama glass sunroof and BMW's innovative Adaptive Headlights.
The two-piece Panorama glass sunroof extends almost completely throughout the entire roof area of the X3, covering a glass area of 0.65 square metres. The driver is able to open up the roof completely at the touch of a button.
Adaptive Headlights, in turn, improve visibility in the dark by swivelling to the side in an infinite adjustment process geared to the steering angle of the vehicle. This adjusts the two Bi-Xenon headlight units as a function of the steering angle, yaw rate and road speed, thus illuminating bends ahead of the driver, clearly and brightly.
Further Australian market options include sports suspension, 18-inch light alloy wheels, aluminium running boards, wood or aluminium interior trim (which are standard on the X3 3.0i), electric front seats, sports seats, heated seats, satellite navigation and TV monitor, Voice Control and a professional quality HiFi system.
BMW's internationally lauded straight-six cylinder engines power the X3, producing 141 kW and 245 Nm of torque in the 2.5i and 170 kW and 300 Nm of torque in the 3.0i. Like its larger X5 sibling, the X3 employs BMW's just-released xDrive all-wheel drive transmission, which continuously and intelligently splits drive torque between the axles for premium control and safety under all driving conditions.
Thus the new BMW X3 is able to combine the outstanding agility of a typical BMW with the broad range of practical benefits offered by a Sports Activity Vehicle.
As ever, BMW is displaying its commitment to automotive innovation by being first to market with a compact premium all-wheel drive product, ideally suited to the needs of predominantly urban-based customers.
The X3 combines the characteristic proportions of a Sports Activity Vehicle with both classic and new BMW design elements to give the X3 a youthful, fresh look.
Trademark BMW design features are reinterpreted for this new class of vehicle, such as the classic 'Hofmeister kick' in the rear side windows, the reworked double kidney grille, as well as the front and rear lights.
The fundamental design features a long wheelbase with short overhangs and a sporting arch to the roofline to accentuate the X3's dynamic character even at a standstill.
Powerfully blistered wheel arches and the striking front end emphasise the X3's boisterous self-confident character.
At 4,565mm long, the X3 is 87mm longer than the 3 Series Touring, but almost 300mm shorter than the new 5 Series sedan. (concept carz)
The X3's wheelbase is 2,795mm compared with the 3 Series Touring's 2,725mm or the X5's 2,820mm.
At 1,674mm the X3 is lower than the X5 at 1,715mm, while the X3 boasts 201mm of ground clearance when the driver is behind the wheel.Source - BMW