2018 BMW X3 Coming This Fall With New M Performance Option | Edmunds

2018 BMW X3 Coming This Fall With New M Performance Option

The all-new 2018 BMW X3 SUV will be arriving at dealerships this November, and for the first time an M Performance model, called the M40i, will be available in the lineup.

Unveiled Monday at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the third-generation X3 is similar in size to its predecessor, but with a 2.2-inch-longer wheelbase for more interior room. Yet the 2018 model weighs less, thanks to a new platform and advanced materials.

The overall effect of the updated sheet metal is a bit sleeker, sportier and more rugged than on earlier models, with increased emphasis on chrome and bright aluminum accents. The familiar BMW kidney-shaped grille is still there, although it's somewhat larger than in the past, the headlights are thinner, and the taillight housings have been revamped.

2018 BMW M3

Exterior styling cues on the M40i include the M Aerodynamic body kit with design elements finished in Cerium Grey Metallic. You'll also find special M Performance badging and a flap-controlled M Sport exhaust system with black chrome tailpipe embellishers.

2018 BMW M3

The interior of the new X3 doesn't deviate far from BMW tradition. The controls layout is logical, materials are high quality, and there's a decent amount of room for people and cargo for this class of SUV. What's new are such standard features as three-zone automatic climate control and a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat whose backrest angles can be adjusted individually. Among the new options are a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen display, gesture control for the iDrive 6.0 infotainment system, ventilated seats and a panoramic moonroof.

The M40i cabin boasts unique logos strategically placed on such surfaces as the front door sills and instrument panel, as well as sport seats to complement the vehicle's performance capabilities.

A host of the latest driver-assist and advanced automatic safety systems are available, such as active cruise control, active blind-spot detection, front collision warning with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, pedestrian protection and Traffic Jam Assistant. There's also an optional head-up display and a Remote 3D View function, which can be used to send a 360-degree, three-dimensional image of the car's immediate vicinity directly to a smartphone.

Standard power for the base model, the X3 30i, comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which BMW says can push the X3 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph. Ticking the box for the M40i gets you a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder powerplant that puts out 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, the M version can get to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.

Both models come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic Steptronic Sport transmission with paddle shifters. In the M version, the gearbox is calibrated to performance specifications and the AWD system is configured to provide more rear-wheel bias.

The standard suspension geometry is similar to the previous generation's but has been improved for sportier handling and better off-road performance yet retains the level of comfort shoppers expect in a luxury SUV. New lightweight brakes are standard, as are 18-inch alloy wheels, which can be upgraded to 21 inches, depending on other equipment ordered.

The suspension on the M40i features performance-specific tuning, as well as variable sport steering, M Sport brakes with black four-piston calipers and standard 19-inch alloy wheels. Options include an adaptive M Sport suspension, with firmer settings and electronically controlled dampers, and 20-inch or 21-inch cast light alloy wheels.

BMW says pricing will be announced closer to the November launch date.

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