BMW begins local production of 2018 X3 before launch on April 19
BMW has begun local production of the all-new 2018 X3 at its plant in Chennai in preparation of the car being launched on April 19. The plant already manufactures the 3 Series, 3 Series Gran Turismo, 5 Series, 6 Series Gran Turismo, 7 Series, X1, and X5. The facility will also start making the MINI Countryman later this year.
The luxury mid-sized SUV is expected to arrive with new iterations of the two diesel engines already available in India. These will initially be the 20d with the 1,995cc four-cylinder with 190PS and 400Nm and the 30d with 265PS and 620Nm. These help the car put out 0-100kmph times of 8.0 and 5.8 seconds and top speeds of 213 and 240kmph respectively. Both will be mated to the 8-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission. The suspension has been updated with lighter aluminium components and BMW has also switched to aluminium callipers for the brakes, the result is a car that is as much as 55kg lighter depending on the selected trim. Prices are expected to be in the Rs 50-55 lakh(on-road) bracket.
The exterior sees a new larger kidney grille(with auto-closing slats for greater efficiency) with reprofiled headlights, taillights and fog lamps. A redesigned front bumper with larger air-intakes and a new roof spoiler with new wings and twin tailpipes complete the picture.
The interior has been made available with a new 10.25-inch touchscreen with gesture control. Connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be provided as standard. The new X3 will have more interior space as a result of a 2.2-inch longer wheelbase on the updated car. The new X3 will also get interior ambient lighting options along with a colour readout head-up display. Other changes include a newly adjusted all-wheel-drive system for greater rear bias, with the ability to change the base distribution depending on conditions. The X3 gets 18-inch wheels with options up to 21-inches available. The X3 also gets a handful of safety systems including stability and traction control plus hill descent and more.
This development is in-line with the strategy that low-volume, high-end players follow in the Indian car market-bringing in CKD kits and then assembling the car here. This is mainly to avoid the high duties imposed on CBU imports. The BMW X3 competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Volvo XC60. Since being first launched in 2003, the X3 has usually been the relatively more driver-focused alternative in this class. This new car is hoping to build on that while also matching rivals in terms of comfort and off-roading ability.
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