New-generation BMW X3 undergoing road tests
No matter what is happening in other sectors, the crossover market seems as healthy as ever. This means that the X3 is vital for German luxury car giant BMW. The 2017 version of this model has been spotted being put through its paces on northern European roads ahead of joining the X2, X4 and X7.
The German market for 4x4 high-roof vehicles is vast and accounts for at least 20% of all car sales. Last year the growth rate for such vehicles was around 30%. If you want to buy the new X3 then you are going to have to wait until 2017; however, the third-generation car will find the market more difficult than its predecessors. Other luxury car manufacturers have woken up to the money to be made in this division and there is now some pretty serious completion, with cars such as the Lexus NX, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and Land Rover Sport all vying for the top spot.
The new X3 will have the same hybrid plug-in technology as this year's X5 and will combine a 2.00-litre petrol engine with a 95bhp eclectic motor. The torque produced is an impressive 516lb ft and the driver can expect a range of up to 30 miles in E-mode. The fuel consumption will increase slightly from 74.4mpg as the result of an industry standard change when the WLTP test procedure is introduced in 2017.
Other innovations planned for 2017 include two diesel units and two high-performance versions, along with various tweaking both outside and inside the cabin.