SPARTANBURG, South Carolina -- BMW says its latest X3 will be sportier than the current model thanks to a new architecture. An M Performance model in the nameplate's lineup for the first time.
BMW unveiled the redesigned X3 on Monday at the company's U.S. plant here, as part of an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the company's announcement of its intention to build the plant.
The third-generation X3 is lighter, more powerful and more efficient with improved handling and driving dynamics, BMW said.
With the new model, the X3 moves to BMW's versatile CLAR architecture, a lighter-weight modular system that already underpins the 7-series sedan and will be used on several other nameplates. Now in its third generation, the X3 generally maintains its overall exterior dimensions although its wheelbase has grown by 2.2 inches.
Its driver assistance technologies include semi-autonomous systems such as active cruise control,steering and lane control and change assistance.
Gesture control will be available, allowing various navigation and infotainment system functions to be operated intuitively using finger and hand gestures
In Europe, it will be offered with two diesel and three gasoline engines, including the M40i powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine producing 355 hp. The U.S. gets the xDrive30i with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 248 hp, in addition to the top-of-the-line M40i. Other U.S. models are likely later. A plug-in hybrid X3 is a possibility, and BMW has confirmed it will sell a pure electric X3 in 2020
Prices in Germany start at 47,000 euros, rising to 54,500 for the M model. The X3 rolls out in Europe starting in November.
U.S. pricing will be announced closer to the X3's on-sale date.
BMW builds the X3, X4, X5 and X6 models in Spartanburg, and the large X7 crossover will also be assembled there when production starts more than a year from now. It is BMW's largest production plant globally and exports 70 percent of its vehicles to 140 markets worldwide.