The 2018 BMW X3, which was leaked two days ago, made its global debut at BMW’s assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina in the USA. This is the third generation for the Bavarian automaker’s mid-size competitor and will take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q3 and yet-to-be-launched Volvo XC40.
On the outside, it is an evolutionary car, but with sufficient new elements to give the SUV a new look. The signature BMW kidney grille has now become bigger while the roofline has become higher at the back giving the X3 the unique BMW SUV identity. The tail lamps are wraparound units but with a sharper design to lend some sportiness to the rear of the car. It is the silhouette of the car that has piqued our interest the most as it is an indication of what the next generation X5 as well as the new X7 will look like when they debut over the course of the next year or so.
The subtle change route has been taken in the cabin too as one glance is sufficient to indicate that its standard BMW fare all around. The elements like the steering wheel, dashboard, centre console are all familiar bits but with updates to give the cabin a new look. What is new, however, is the floating display for the infotainment system which has now become wider and bigger. Ventilated front and rear seats are optional while dual zone climate control is now a standard feature. At 4.7-metres in length and with a wheelbase of 2.8-metres, that is one roomy car including a 550-litre boot which can be expanded to 1600-litres by folding down the rear seats which can split fold 40:20:40. The models shown at the launch sported an all-black cabin, but we believe that BMW will change the colour depending on the market.
The engine list includes the usual range of diesel and petrol powertrains that are on offer with the current car. This includes a 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engine, of which the latter in the xDrive 20i trim will be launched in 2018. The bigger diesel is a 3.0-litre unit which will be offered in the xDrive 30d trim. However, the biggest addition is an M-spec model which has been dubbed the M40i. It is offered with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol straight-six 360bhp/500Nm and has been mated to an M-spec eight-speed AT.
There is a whole host of new tech for the X3 including a new safety programme, multiple airbags and driver aids and a light weight platform that has helped the car shed 55kgs as compared to the outgoing model.
As we have been saying for a while now, this new X3 is surely coming to India and will begin its life here directly through the CKD route. It will be offered with most of the diesel engine options and the xDrive 20i trim when launched here. We can expect it to be one of the highlights of the BMW stall at Delhi 2018.