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BMW X3 SUV to gain potent M model

Third-generation SUV on sale in November

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The next BMW X3 SUV will include the first M Performance version, with 360hp on offer from its 3-litre six-cylinder petrol engine.

On sale in November and priced from £38,800, the third-generation X3 is expected to continue the success of the model line. The X3 has sold 1.5 million since first launching in 2003 but has come under great pressure in recent times from new rival models such as the latest Audi Q5.

The new car is similar in size to its predecessor but with a 50mm longer wheelbase and a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. This will be particularly relevant to the performance-focused M40i, which promises a sub five-second 0-62mph time. It will cost from £51,280.

Two diesel engines

Initially, new X3s will be available with either the 20d or 30d diesel engines, offering 190 or 265hp respectively. The M40i will go on sale soon after, as will an xDrive 20i petrol unit. All will be matched to an improved version of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Amongst a host of new technology available for the car will be BMW’s new ‘CoPilot’ system, which includes active cruise control and the Driving Assistant Plus safety package – a steering and lane control assistant, lane-change assistant and lane-keeping assistant with side collision protection.

All versions are also fitted with three-zone automatic climate control, which can provide individual settings for driver, front passenger and rear seat occupants. Options include perforated leather front seats with ventilation and a panoramic sunroof.

BMW X3 dash

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.