Paris Show 2010 Highlights: 2011 BMW X3

Big on space and big on efficiency! That's BMW's promise for the second-generation X3, and we have first official photos of the X5’s baby brother, which made its European debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Set to hit showrooms in January 2011, the cleanest variants will be capable of returning 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of only 147g/km thanks to the use of stop/start technology and an eight-speed automatic gearbox developed by specialists, ZF.

Achieving 149g/km with a manual gearbox, the entry-level xDrive20d uses a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine producing 181bhp and 380Nm of torque – enough to reach 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 131mph. At launch, the only other model will be the xDrive35i, which is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 152mph.

The X3 now sports a more robust appearance using elements from the smaller X1 and larger X5, while the body has grown in every dimension except width allowing for improved interior space and wider door openings. Luggage space is increased by 70 litres as a result and can be expanded to 1,600 litres when the rear seats, which split 60:40 or an optional 40:20:40, are folded flat.

Build quality is set to receive a hike in the all-new interior whilst technical gadgetry including a head-up display and internet access will be made available thanks to BMW's ConnectedDrive system. A 6.5-inch colour monitor and the latest generation of iDrive will be standard on all models, although this can be upgraded to a class-leading 8.8-inch high-resolution screen if buyers opt for the Professional Multimedia package.

Under the skin the X3 will feature Variable Damper Control for the first time, allowing drivers to adjust the suspension settings to suit their needs, with Normal, Sport, and Sport+ selected by a button on the dash. Adjustable Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control further enhance the handling, assisted by double-joint spring-strut front axles and a multi-link rear axle.

Prices start at £30,490 for the xDrive20d, rising to around £36,000 for the xDrive35i.For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

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