X3 gets a spruce-up

The Advertiser - Motoring - - News - KARLA PIN­COTT

THERE is stiff com­pe­ti­tion for the wal­lets of SUV buy­ers, and BMW is de­ter­mined not to give up any ground held by its pop­u­lar X3.

The next ver­sion – caught on cam­era by Carparazzi in the US – will look lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the cur­rent model, but gains a lit­tle more size and a bolder grille set off by wrap­around head­light clus­ters.

Now fac­ing fresh chal­lenges from the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60, the BMW X3 has re­port­edly been given an up­graded cabin treat­ment.

And it is ru­moured that it will also have the twin­turbo petrol en­gine from the 335i and the two-litre tur­bod­iesel, while there is also talk of a hy­brid ver­sion.

BMW spokesman Tim James says the X3 is likely to be here by the end of next year, but there is no con­fir­ma­tion yet of the new en­gines. ‘‘As far as we know, the tim­ing is for it to ar­rive in 2011," he says. ‘‘It may not be likely we’ll get the 335i en­gine here, where there’s a strong ap­petite for diesels, but it’s too early to say yet. The vol­ume seller for us is the tur­bod­iesel xDrive 20d."

Mr James says BMW is con­fi­dent the X3 will con- tinue its suc­cess, which saw sales rise af­ter the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 ar­rived and stirred up fresh in­ter­est i n the mar­ket. ‘‘The last two years of the X3’s life cy­cle have been its most suc­cess­ful – we did 140 to 150 a month last year – and we ex­pect that to con­tinue or im­prove."

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