BMW X3 Easier on the Eyes
With lots to boast about in Paris, Bimmer shows off its redesigned X3, as well as its 6-Series concept.
X3 Bigger and Better
With more than 600,000 sold worldwide, the original X3 proved one thing: Looks aren't the only key to success. Though still recognizable as an X3, the new model is, thankfully, a tad easier on the eyes.
It's also bigger, more practical, more luxurious and more high-tech than ever before. The most notable highlight is an optional 8-speed automatic gearbox, which can even be found in the 2.0-liter diesel X3 xDrive20d. This likely best-seller in Europe also gets a bump in power — 184 ponies compared with the outgoing model's 177 — and a boost in fuel economy, scoring 50.4 mpg compared with the current X3 20d's 43.5 mpg.
Performance fans will be interested in the 306-horsepower gas-powered xDrive35i. It features the 8-speed transmission as standard, and an automatic start-stop system as part of BMW's EfficientDynamics program.
All X3s will be 4-wheel drive.
6-Series Coupe Concept
The 6-Series Coupe concept, meanwhile, could easily drop the "concept" bit of its name, previewing as it does the next generation of BMW's luxury two-door. So what does it tell us about the new 6?
Plenty, BMW board member Ian Robertson said at the launch. With a Concept 6 parked behind him next to a classic 1971 3.0 CSL, Robertson said we should expect a road car "in a very similar form" soon.
The looks are now in line with the rest of the range, softer curves replacing the angular lines of old. Even so, the basic profile and proportions are familiar.
Concept status means BMW isn't saying much about the powerplant, other than promising that options will be in line with other EfficientDynamics BMWs. Robertson focused on the 6-Series Coupe's styling inside and out, highlighting new technology such as all-LED headlights.
Other treats include a massive 10.2-inch screen for the iDrive system, a further evolution of BMW's heads-up display, and a stereo developed with Bang & Olufsen.
Elsewhere on the BMW stand are further additions to the 5-Series engine lineup and the latest crop of EfficientDynamics models, including a Paris outing for the 1-Series Coupe-based Active E electrically powered prototype.
We couldn't help but stare at the vivid orange BMW Z4 on the stand. One of BMW's special color line, it's certainly unique. Don't be surprised if it flashes shockingly onto a road near you soon — if the owner is brave enough.