Behold: the all new 2018 BMW X3. It’s bigger, faster and loaded with tech. With close to a true 50:50 weight distribution (I’m looking at you X1), it promises to be perhaps the best crossover built by BMW to date for enthusiasts. Let’s look at the highlights.
The Executive Summary
- First M Performance model in the X3 range with best in segment acceleration: 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds – .7 seconds faster than the X3 35i.
- BMW M Performance carefully developed chassis with reduced unsprung mass, sophisticated kinematics, and optimum weight distribution for ideal balance in any situation.
- Improved aerodynamics featuring BMW Active Kidney Grille, underbody cladding, roof spoiler with Aero Blades on the sides, and Air Curtains.
- Full-color, 75 percent larger Head-Up Display, 10.25-inch Touchscreen and BMW Gesture Control technology.
- Enhanced comfort and safety with Active Protection pre-crash accident detection system, standard Sport seats, 3-zone automatic climate control and rear seatback reclining adjustment.
- First ever factory-installed trailer hitch available in a BMW SAV (slow clap).
The stats also tell an interesting story. Not only is the new M40i .7 seconds faster to 60 than the 35i but it’s also only 50 lbs lighter despite a noticeable increase in size, safety tech and standard options.
The new X3 will hit showrooms in the late summer with pricing announced in the coming weeks. Look for order books to open this week.
Official Specifications (US): 2018 BMW X3 Tech Specs PDF
The all- new 2018 BMW X3 was unveiled today at BMW Plant Spartanburg, SC, where it will be produced alongside the BMW X4, BMW X5, and BMW X6. BMW is at home in Spartanburg, SC producing 411,171 BMW X models last year, making it the largest BMW Group’s global production facility with approximately 70 percent of the vehicles exported to 140 markets worldwide, thereby making BMW the largest vehicle exporter in the U.S. by value. BMW Plant Spartanburg has a deep level of localization, and provides and supports nearly 70,000 jobs in the U.S. In 2003, the BMW X3 was the car that launched the premium compact SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) segment. Since then, BMW has recorded more than 1.5 million vehicles worldwide and 378,803 in the US alone. Today, the all-new BMW X3 is set to write the next chapter in this success story with a more striking, dynamic design language, powerful yet efficient drive systems with a luxurious appeal. Like all members of the successful X family, it blends standout-driving qualities on any terrain with unrestricted everyday usability.
The all-new 2018 BMW X3 will be available at certified BMW Centers this November with pricing to be announced closer to market launch.
The exterior design with new distinctive looks.
The all-new BMW X3 elevates the already boldly dynamic design language of its predecessor. The third generation of the pioneering premium compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) treads a familiar BMW X family path in combining rugged off-road looks with generous presence. The exterior dimensions of the all-new BMW X3 may be largely unchanged, however, the wheelbase has been extended by 2.2-inches and its long hood, extremely short front overhang with finely balanced proportions, emphasize the perfect 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axle.
For the first time on a BMW X model, the front fascia features a muscular “three-dimensional” kidney grille and fog lights featuring a hexagonal design, underlining the confident character of the all-new BMW X3. Moving to the rear, the tail light housings whose three-dimensional look with the optional Adaptive LED and Icon Adaptive Full LED Headlights, give them considerable visual impact. A downward-sloping roof spoiler and twin exhaust tailpipes add to the muscular appearance.
First ever factory-installed trailer hitch available in a BMW SAV.
The all-new BMW X3 will be the first BMW SAV in the US to feature a factory-installed trailer hitch. The new 2” receiver will enable customers to use a broad range of BMW Accessories including tongues, drop tongues, towing balls, a step to help access roof mounted accessories and several varieties of bike racks.
Standard xLine design, available Luxury Package.
The standard xLine design emphasizes the robustness of the Sports Activity Vehicle and stands out with numerous trim elements in Satin aluminum, Silver matte, and 18-inch Y-Spoke wheels with All-season Run Flat Tires (19-inch V-Spoke wheels with All-season Run Flat Tires are available as an upgrade option). On the interior, the driver and front passenger are welcomed by standard Sport Seats with power adjustable side bolsters, and an Anthracite The optional Luxury Package, available for the first time in the X3 model range, emphasizes the SAV’s elegant character with features such as chrome kidney grille bars and two-tone front & rear bumper trim finishers on the exterior and a SensaTec upholstered dashboard on the interior.
M Sport Package.
The M Sport Package focuses its attentions on the dynamic prowess of the all-new BMW X3 with the M Aerodynamic kit (front apron with larger air intakes, side skirt trim, and a diffusor- style rear apron). Also included are Shadowline exterior trim and 19-inch M Double-Spoke Wheels with All-season Run Flat Tires or Performance Run Flat Tires. For customers seeking the most dynamic BMW X3, M Double-Spoke 20-inch Wheels with Mixed Performance Run Flat Tires are available as an upgrade option. The interior includes a new M Sport leather steering wheel, M door sill finishers and a SensaTec upholstered dashboard.
Interior and equipment: improved material quality and ergonomics.
The interior of the all-new BMW X3 follows BMW tradition with its driver-focused and ergonomically optimized cockpit layout and carries over many aspects of the car’s exterior design. For instance, hexagonal forms and precise, sloping edges also play a central role in the interior. The interior as a whole displays exceptional material quality, fit, and finish, with carefully thought ergonomics. One example here is the storage concept, which offers more storage space than ever before and ensures it is easier to access.
The all-new BMW X3 comes standard with several new, comfort enhancing features not offered on its predecessor. These include 3-zone automatic climate control, which adds separate temperature controls for the rear compartment to those for the driver and front passenger. To enhance rear compartment comfort, the angle of the standard 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat backrests can be adjusted individually and through various stages thanks to the standard cargo function. This feature also allows the backrests to be released remotely from the load compartment, which expands the standard load capacity of 28.7 ft3 to 62.7 ft3. Newly available convenient functions include front ventilated seats for driver and front passenger to maximize comfort on warm days. Customers can also give the interior a roomier feel with the 9.8-inch longer panoramic glass moonroof.
Contour lighting above the trim strip in the instrument panel is included with the available Extended Ambient Lighting, which directs a soft stream of light downwards from below the accent strip, lights the interior in a distinctive and relaxing ambience. At night, the iDrive display appears to be floating above the instrument panel. Customers can choose from six color tones.
Enhanced active prowess and improved comfort over all terrain.
The dynamic handling qualities of the all-new BMW X3 are directly linked to its ideal 50:50 weight distribution, its meticulously honed chassis and xDrive, BMW’s Intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which made its debut in 2003 when the first generation of the BMW X3 originally launched. Not only has the system been offering superior grip on slippery surfaces ever since, it has had a beneficial effect on driving dynamics too. This system is networked with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) allowing the power split between all four wheels to be constantly varied, providing the handling characteristics for which BMW is renowned.
The new Driving Dynamics Control toggle switch now also offers Adaptive Mode when the vehicle is equipped with Dynamic Damper Control in addition to configurations such as, ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ (M40i model only) modes.
Chassis dynamics: reduced mass and improved axle kinematics.
The 3rd generation of the BMW X3 continues to rely on its winning formula of a double-joint spring strut front axle and a five-link rear set-up at the rear. At the same time, this refreshingly engaging Sports Activity Vehicle delivers an even sportier driving experience than its predecessor without compromising on ride comfort. The engineers have succeeded in reducing a considerable amount in unsprung mass by fitting aluminum swivel bearings and lighter tubular anti-roll bars as well as optimizing wheel location at the front. Handling dynamics, straight-line stability and steering feel have all benefited from the improved axle kinematics and the Electric Power Steering system with Servotronic.
In an effort to improve handling dynamics, the rear bias of BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system has been increased. Intelligent AWD management constantly adjusts the torque bias as the driving situation demands ensuring optimum driving dynamics.
In its basic specification, the all-new BMW X3 comes with 18-inch light-alloy wheels while wheels up to 21 inches in diameter are available depending on the equipment and engine variant. The powerful braking system features lightweight brakes offering optimized performance as well as an Electric Parking Brake. A broad array of electronic control systems help the driver maximize safety at all times. These systems include: Driving Stability Control (DSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Start-Off Assistant, Performance Control, and Hill Descent Control (HDC).
The all-new BMW X3 M40i. First M Performance model in the X3 model line-up with best in segment acceleration.
The first ever M Performance model in the X3 lineup sets new standards with its sharper dynamics, high level of exclusivity and standout emotional appeal. The 3.0-liter M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology 6-cylinder inline engine ensures the all-new BMW X3 M40i sits at the top end of the model range. Output of 355 hp propels the flagship X3 from 0 to 60 mph in a best in segment time of 4.6 seconds. The X3 M40i also includes a wealth of model- specific set-up and equipment features, which both underpin and lend added impact to the exceptional performance credentials of this SAV.
The BMW X3 M40i is equipped with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with Launch Control. This transmission is a perfect match for the engine’s dynamic characteristics and can be operated using shift paddles on the steering wheel. In addition, its xDrive all-wheel- drive system has a far more pronounced rear bias than on the other model versions. The Performance Control feature integrated into the DSC system and acting on the rear wheels has been reconfigured to produce agility and traction for which M Performance models are known for. Moving into the cabin, Sport seats and “M40i” logos adorning, for instance, the front door sills and instrument panel, provide visual emphasis of the car’s performance capabilities.
Among these features are the standard – and strikingly dynamic – M Performance-specific exterior design cues, which include the M Aerodynamic kit with design elements finished in Cerium Grey Metallic. The flap-controlled M Sport exhaust system with Black Chrome tailpipe embellishers, M Sport brakes, M Sport suspension with M Performance specific tuning, Variable sport steering and standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch and 21-inch cast light-alloy wheels provide a distinctive sporting character. The X3 M40i can be equipped with the available Adaptive M Sport suspension, which covers an even wider spread of ride comfort featuring the sportiest set-up suspension available.
Dynamic options: M Sport suspension, Dynamic Damper Control,
M Sport brakes and Variable sport steering.
The M Sports suspension, which is standard on the M40i model, offers the keen driver a firmer suspension (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars). Adaptive M Suspension is optionally available on the M40i model, offering electronically controlled dampers and even sportier suspension settings. Similarly, Dynamic Damper Control is available on the 30i model, and includes electronically controlled dampers that adapt the damper responses to the road surface and driving situation. At the same time, the driver can use the Driving Dynamics Control toggle switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics as they please between the more comfortable and sportier ends of the scale.
M Sport brakes are standard on the all-new BMW X3 M40i and feature blue-painted aluminum four-piston fixed calipers at the front and amply proportioned brake discs have high levels of thermal resistance to deliver phenomenal stopping power despite their extremely low weight. The standard Variable sport steering from the BMW X3 M40i is optionally available on the BMW X3 xDrive30i model.
Perfectly at home on rough terrain.
The all-new BMW X3 boasts the same off-road skills as its predecessor. The high ground clearance of 8 inches helps to ensure unhindered progress, not only when travelling along rutted gravel or sand tracks, over churned-up ground or in deep snow, but also on city roads while going over speed bumps. The approach angle (23.1°) and departure angle (21.4°) of the all-new BMW X3 together with its breakover angle of 17.4° create plenty of margin for negotiating steep sections or crests. Moreover, with a fording depth of 19.6 inches, the BMW X3 can tackle water crossings with ease as well.
The powertrain: Latest generation 4 and 6-cylinder inline engines.
The all-new BMW X3 line-up from launch consists of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology 2.0- liter 4-cylinder inline gasoline engine with Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic fully variable intake lift, a map-controlled oil pump, electric arc wire-sprayed cylinder barrels, Twin-scroll exhaust turbocharger and electrically adjustable waste gate valve. The latest M Performance model, the BMW X3 M40i comes with a 3.0-liter M Performance TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder inline gasoline engine. The intake manifold integrated indirect charge air intercooler allows for a lower charge air volume between the compressor and intake valves, noticeably improving engine response. This translates to shorter air routing, faster boost pressure build-up, and throttle response.
Both engines come from the latest generation of BMW engines. Improvements have also been made to both the 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with shift paddles and the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system to increase efficiency.
The BMW X3 M40i: new flagship model.
The all-new BMW X3 M40i heralds the arrival of the first ever M Performance Automobile in this model series. Power comes from a new M Performance TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder inline engine, which blends its insatiable appetite for revs and sublime pulling power with exemplary smoothness and efficiency. The 3.0-liter unit generates power output of 355 hp from 5,500 – 6,500 rpm. Peak torque of 369 lb-ft from 1,520 – 4,800 rpm, provide a 69 lb-ft – or 23 percent – increase (compared to the outgoing BMW X3 xDrive35i). This performance arsenal equips the all-new BMW X3 M40i to a best in segment sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.
The BMW X3 xDrive30i. More power. More efficient.
The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder gasoline engine in the all-new BMW X3 xDrive30i has an output of 248 hp (8 hp more than the outgoing BMW X3 xDrive28i). Maximum torque has of 258 lb-ft is on tap between just 1,450 and 4,800 rpm. The all-new BMW X3 xDrive30i reaches 60 mph from rest in 6.0 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph
8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles.
All models come standard with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles. In the BMW X3 xDrive30i, the transmission tuning is matched to the engine’s specific performance characteristics, while the X3 M40i model’s transmission has been tuned to M Performance specifications. The transmission is designed to be even more efficient, helping to lower fuel consumption and emissions.
BMW xDrive: further improvements in terms of efficiency and weight.
The all-new BMW X3 is equipped with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive as standard. The new model generation enjoys the benefits of both a more efficient and lighter rear differential, and a modified transfer case, which made its debut in the current BMW 7 Series, operates more efficiently, providing another fuel-saving measure.
Aerodynamic development results in improved drag coefficient.
Reducing aerodynamic drag not only helps to lower fuel consumption, it also has a beneficial effect on noise levels. Besides its aerodynamically optimized proportions, the all-new BMW X3 also features additional underbody cladding, for example, that provides unprecedented underbody sealing. Additional refinements, such as the BMW Active Kidney Grille, roof spoiler with Aero Blades at the sides, and BMW Air Curtains round off the aerodynamic measures. The latter system intelligently regulates the flow of cooling air for the engine, brakes and air conditioning with even greater flexibility, and offers both aerodynamic benefits and further potential for savings in terms of energy and heat management.
Seamless connectivity between owners, their X3 and their smartphone.
The all-new BMW X3 also excels when it comes to Human Machine Interface (HMI) through a refined system. In addition to the iDrive Controller fitted as standard, specifying the Navigation system Professional featuring iDrive 6.0 enhances the iDrive Controller with a 10.25” display with Touchscreen technology. The optional BMW Gesture Control, which debuted on the current BMW 7 Series, adds a unique way to interface with the X3. BMW Gesture Control allows numerous infotainment, communication, and navigation functions to be operated intuitively using finger and hand gestures. The vehicle can also be controlled using the cloud- based Intelligent Voice Control, which offers the most advanced level of natural voice control currently available. This enables drivers to formulate their request in natural, everyday language instead of having to use a ridged set of spoken commands.
Linked up to the driver’s digital world thanks to BMW Connected.
The digital services from the BMW Connected app, available on both iOS and Android, bring intelligent connectivity to the all-new BMW X3 and unparalleled convenience for the driver. With the help of the Open Mobility Cloud platform, the digital services connect to the BMW X3 via devices such as smartphones or smartwatches, resulting in seamless connectivity.
The selection of devices that can connect to the new BMW X3 by means of BMW Connected go beyond the smartphone by supporting devices such as smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear (S2 and S3) to the Amazon Echo. Customers can use the Amazon Echo’s Alexa voice service to check the fuel level of their new X3, for instance, lock the vehicle or activate the ventilation function, all by voice control from the comfort of their home.
With BMW Connected, being on-time has never been simpler. Machine learning made possible by the Open Mobility Cloud allows BMW Connected to learn your routines and suggest the optimal time to leave for an appointment. Location based services and real time traffic information help optimize your journey even before entering the vehicle. When equipped with Navigation Professional, the Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information can continue to optimize your routing options. Car-to-car communication is now also employed within the inter- connected BMW fleet to provide advance warning of hazardous traffic situations. Information on any detected hazards presented by an accident, a broken-down vehicle, dense fog, heavy rain or black ice, for example, is also relayed to the BMW backend from where it is imported into the navigation system of both the driver’s car and other vehicles BMWs in the vicinity .
Intelligent Emergency Call with extended functionality.
The standard built-in SIM card also allows drivers of the all-new BMW X3 to use Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic locating and accident severity detection. With the new BMW Teleservice Accident Assistance, the vehicle now also detects low-speed collisions below the threshold for airbag deployment. The driver receives a message in the iDrive display offering to contact the BMW Accident Assistance service directly. A push of a button is all it takes to obtain professional support from the BMW Accident Assistance team, who can also put the customer in touch with a BMW Service Partner if necessary.
Detecting accidents before they happen.
The standard pre-crash accident detection system Active Protection enhances passive safety by detecting potential accident situations as they arise. If a collision risk is detected, the system automatically triggers a variety of occupant protection measures. The driver’s and front passenger’s belt tensioners are activated, and the windows and Panoramic moonroof are closed. Following a collision, Active Protection automatically brings the vehicle to a standstill. The Frontal Collision Warning function detects an imminent risk of collision with preceding vehicles, and prepares the vehicle systems for a possible impact from vehicles behind.
Parking with ease: ParkNow and On-Street Parking Information.
The ParkNow service, available in iDrive, allows parking spaces at the roadside and in parking garages to be easily located, booked and paid for without the need for cash. This can greatly shorten the time taken to find a free space. In-car integration of ParkNow is initially available in select cities nationwide. Visit www.park-now.com for details.
First launched with the BMW 5 Series, the new On-Street Parking Information (OSPI) service available in select cities helps alleviate the problem of vehicles searching for parking spaces – which accounts for a large part of traffic congestion in city centers. OSPI works in a similar way to the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information System, using historical and current data to draw conclusions regarding the availability of on-street parking spaces in specific zones or in a particular part of town. The probability of on street parking availability is shown on the Navigation Professional map, allowing the driver to minimize the need to continually circle the block in search of a spot.
The options list likewise includes a WiFi hotspot offering a high-speed internet connection (LTE) for up to ten mobile devices. Apple CarPlay is also available and can be used wirelessly in the all-new BMW X3. The driver can seamlessly switch between BMW and Apple CarPlay via the iDrive controller or touchscreen interface if equipped.
BMW Personal CoPilot: a comprehensive line-up of driver assistance systems.
When it comes to driver assistance and semi-automated driving, all the systems currently offered by BMW are available, such as the latest generation of Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, whose capabilities include braking the car to a halt in stop-and-go traffic and automatically restarting to drive. The Driving Assistance Package includes Active Blind Spot Protection, Lane Departure Warning, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collison Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert rear, and Speed Limit Info (Navigation system required). The Driving Assistant Plus Package offers additional comfort features: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant, Evasion Aid & Cross Traffic alert front and rear.
The optional Head-Up Display allows the most important driving-related information to be projected directly into the driver’s field of vision. The 75 percent larger Head-Up Display in the all-new BMW X3 is unrivalled in its segment for graphics, resolution and display options. Another unique feature that the all-new BMW X3 boasts over its competitors is the Remote 3D View function, which can be used to beam a 360 degree, three-dimensional view of the car’s immediate vicinity directly to a smartphone through the BMW Connected App.