The BMW X3 SUV has been updated with a revised look and new diesel engines, and now looks like a baby X5. Keep reading for details and pictures.
The X3’s facelift includes a revised grille, restyled headlights, new bumpers, updated side mirrors and spiffier alloy wheels. Taken together, the changes give the compact SUV a more stately look that is reminiscent of the latest X5‘s. We find it more attractive than the previous model, which was a bit awkward in appearance.
A new xLine equipment package allows owners to enhance the look of the X3 even further with metallic inserts in the bumpers, satin aluminum side cladding and bars in the air intakes, simulated underbody guards and a choice of 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels. Those looking for more substantial upgrades have the option of an M Sport package that adds an aerodynamic body kit, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, an anthracite roof, shadow line trim and 18- to 20-inch alloys.
Inside, the upholstery and trim elements have been updated, along with the infotainment system and iDrive controller with an integrated touchpad. The cup holders are new, while an available “Smart Opener” enables the tailgate to be opened by simply placing your foot under the rear bumper.
The biggest news with the North American-spec X3 is the new xDrive28d model, which is powered by a 180 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 180 horsepower. Using the lineup’s eight-speed automatic transmission, it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in under 8 seconds.
For the first time ever, there will be an X3 with only rear-wheel drive. The sDrive28 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged, gasoline engine with 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. of torque and reaches 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. As the entry-level model in the U.S., it has a starting price of $39,325 ( $925 destination).
The European model gains a new 2.0-liter diesel unit in the xDrive20d. Using the eight-speed automatic, it generates 190 PS (188 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque — an increase of 6 HP (5 kW) and 20 Nm (15 lb-ft) over the previous oil burner — and allows the SUV to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds. Combined fuel consumption comes in at 5.0l/100km (56.5 mpg UK).
Next BMW M3 Has RWD And 4WD Versions, Which Will You Choose?
The M3 will take a page from the latest M5, but without losing grip of its roots.
When the sixth-generation BMW M3 and M4 hit the market, they will reportedly be offered with both rear-wheel and all-wheel driver versions.
The rear-wheel drive M3 / M4 — ‘M3 and M4 Pure’, as they are known internally — are intended for purists, while those looking for outright performance will certainly go for the all-wheel drive variants.
According to , the all-wheel drive M3 / M4 can only be had with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and will have a bit more power to work with since the manual transmission in the purist M3 / M4 can’t handle the same amount of torque. It will also be a bit different aesthetically, featuring a different front fascia and set of wheels.
BMW hasn’t announced when the next M3 and M4 will debut, but it will add three additional go-faster models to the lineup overtime, including a competition package.
So, which one will it be for you — the rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive M3 / M4? Let us know in the comments below, including your reason(s) why.
BMW Creates Meteoric M850i Night Sky For Outer Space Geeks
The unique 8 Series features meteorite inlay and 3D-printed brake calipers.
BMW has revealed the M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky, a one-off take on the new M850i created by the company’s Individual Manufaktur team for astronomy fans.
The car features an outer space theme. Inside, hunks of meteoric rock adorn the center console, start/stop button, shift lever, iDrive controller and other surfaces, while Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites can be found on the center console’s trim finishers, brake discs, exterior mirror caps and the front splitters.
For the non-space geeks among us, Widmanstätten patterns are the result of iron-nickel crystals forming on meteors over the course of around 10 million years and cannot be reproduced on Earth.
Special LED project constellations of stars on the center console and other interior surfaces.
Not content with the space theme, BMW created new lightweight brake calipers using generative design processes (3D printing). The pieces manage to be 30 percent lighter than the 8 Series’ usual calipers without negatively affecting necessary strength characteristics.
The one-off Night Sky edition is finished in San Marino Blue metallic paint over a black base coat. Its debut coincided with a meteor shower that took place overnight from January 3 – 4, resulting from the Earth briefly passing through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH, with fragments from the asteroid entering our planet’s atmosphere and burning up.
Some of these meteoric fragments were incorporated into the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky’s interior.
BMW, Porsche’s Ultrafast EV Charger Adds 62 Miles In 3 Minutes
It only takes 15 minutes for an electric vehicle’s batteries to be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity.
Their so-called FastCharge research program has resulted in a 450 kW prototype charging station that can add 62 miles (100 km) of range in just three minutes or nearly fully charge a mostly depleted battery from 10 to 80 percent in just 15 minutes.
While the ability to charge an electric car in just a few minutes will be a boon for EV owners, today’s electric vehicles aren’t able to charge at 450 kilowatts. Tesla’s vehicles, for instance, utilize a 400-volt battery configuration, but Porsche and Audi’s FastCharge tech can handle higher voltage levels of up to 920 volts, which experts believe will become the norm.
Their charging station is able to handle so much current and voltage thanks to actively cooled cables that use a circulating water-glycol solution to manage temperature. The electric vehicle must also be compatible and use intelligent charging strategy that not only precools the battery before charging begins, but also monitors cell temperature during the charging process.
Suffice it to say, the long, tedious hours that it used to take to charge an electric car are almost a thing of the past.
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