The new third-generation BMW X3 combines rugged off-road looks with a greater sporting presence.
Building on its reputation as one of the most dynamically competent and technologically advanced SUVs in its class, the new model also adds a new 2.0-litre petrol engine alongside the familiar diesel offering. In addition it boasts a new performance flagship, the M40i, the first M Performance vehicle in the X3 line-up.
BMW says the range of driver assistance systems also ensures it is one of the most advanced and safest cars in its class, with multi-platform connectivity that reaches new levels.
The exterior dimensions of the new BMW X3 are largely unchanged, but its wheelbase, longer by five centimetres, long bonnet and short front overhang emphasise its 50:50 weight distribution between front and rear axle. At the front, the chunky three-dimensional kidney grille and LED fog lamps feature a hexagonal design for the first time on a BMW X model. At the rear, the three-dimensional LED light clusters, downward-sloping roof spoiler and twin exhaust pipes further enhance the appearance.
The interior of the new X3 follows BMW tradition with a driver-focused and ergonomically designed cockpit. BMW says the material quality, and fit and finish, are of a class above what drivers expect for a mid-range SUV, while it is also functional, with more cabin storage compared to its predecessor.
With its 50:50 weight distribution, a finely-honed chassis and xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive, linked to dynamic stability control, the new X3 shows off the handling characteristics for which BMW is renowned.
The standard driving experience control switch lets the driver choose between various configurations – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport And Sport+ modes (only on the 30i, 30d and M40i ) – designed to make the vehicle more dynamic, more comfortable or more efficient to drive.
From launch, the X3 model line-up consists of the xDrive20d with four-cylinder diesel engine and the xDrive30d with a straight-six diesel unit. These will soon be followed by the xDrive20i engine variant, and the range topping petrol model, the BMW X3 M40i.
All models available are equipped with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive as standard. The system now features a lighter rear differential and a modified transfer case, which made its debut in the current BMW 7 Series, aiding efficiency and helping with the car’s 50:50 weight distribution.
This new model also boasts a class-leading drag coefficient of Cd = 0.29 which not only helps lower fuel consumption, but also has a beneficial effect on noise levels.
The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
BMW says the 6 Series Gran Turismo, which takes over from the 5 Series Gran Turismo, sets a new level of comfort and elegance in a sporting coupé design and now with superior driving dynamics and efficiency.
The large 5 Series Gran Turismo, first launched in 2009, as a game changer, delivering comfort and elegance, and practicality, and BMW says the new 6 Series takes these characteristics to another level and enhances the driving dynamics further.
Boasting a more athletic, sportier stance, the vehicle height has been reduced by 21mm, the rear end has been lowered by 64mm, while the vehicle length has been increased by 87mm, contributing to a more low-slung silhouette without compromising interior space or practicality. With more headroom and ample legroom, the rear has three full-size seats and customers can opt for electrically-adjustable chairs where the backrest angle can be altered at the push of a button.
The lighter chassis and improved suspension technology improve handling and comfort. Self-levelling air suspension comes as standard at the rear axle, but for extra comfort customers can opt for adaptive suspension, which features front and rear air suspension plus dynamic damper control. Customers can also take up the executive drive option, offered in combination with the integral active steering system that incorporates active roll stabilisation to deliver supreme cornering capability.
Up front is a freestanding touchscreen for navigation, communication and infotainment functions. The centre console again features the iDrive Touch Controller dial for BMW navigation and infotainment systems, while standard-fit enhanced voice control that now responds to freely formulated instructions, enables total handsfree capability. The 6 Series also features optional gesture control, which allows certain functions to be operated with simple movements of the hand or fingers. Customers can also opt for the new-generation BMW head-up display reflects driving-related information on to the windscreen that will be directly in the driver’s field of vision.
Standard equipment on the 6 Series Gran Turismo includes automatic climate control with an option to scale up to a four-zone system. Standard metallic paint is available in 10 finishes, while two non-metallic paint finishes are also available. It comes with standard 18-inch light-alloy wheels, but other wheels in sizes up to 20 inches can be ordered. The original BMW accessories range also includes 21-inch alloys. Customers can choose from two trims: SE and M Sport. M Sport offers specific 19-inch light alloy wheels, leather upholstery with exclusive stitching and piping in contrasting colours, plus illuminated door sill strips. A Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System can be ordered as option, while a panoramic glass roof is standard on M Sport models and optionally available on the SE models. Reversing assist camera is standard across both trim levels.
For more information or to book a test drive, contact Colm Quinn on 091-753888 or visit colmquinnbmw.ie The Colm Quinn showroom is located on the Tuam Road, Galway.