The BMW X3 will be completely redesigned for the 2018 model year. In addition to being built on an all-new modular platform, the vehicle will get a more powerful M40i variant and the latest driver assistance features.
Although its overall dimensions will be nearly identical to the current X3, the all-new vehicle has a wheelbase that's 2.2 inches longer than before. BMW says front to rear weight distribution is precisely 50:50. The redesign brings a more aerodynamic vehicle thanks to automatic grille shutters and a more efficient underbody design for smoother airflow.
The new sport-themed M40i model gets distinctive styling in the form of a special aerodynamic body kit, black chrome tailpipes and 19-inch wheels with optional sizes as large as 21 inches. As a middle-ground, shoppers can equip their standard X3 with the available M Sport Package for many of the same types of styling cues.
Under the hood, the standard X3 features a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo rated at 248 hp with 258 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 8 hp over the previous year. The M40i uses a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbo producing 355 hp with 369 lb-ft, making this the most powerful X3 that BMW has ever built.
Options for a diesel variant have not yet been announced. The current generation offers a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel with the xDrive28d that makes 180 hp and 280 lb-ft. Given the recent scrutiny around diesel emissions compliance, it's unclear if and when BMW will introduce a diesel version of the new X3.
An 8-speed automatic transmission will come standard in all versions of the X3. The M40i gets a specially tuned system equipped with a launch control feature for more spirited bursts of speed from a full stop. BMW says the M40i will be able to sprint from 0-60 mph in as little as 4.6 seconds.
In terms of safety, the X3 boasts the full range of driver assistance features such as frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and more. Most features come with the Driver Assistance Package, but shoppers will also need to add the Driver Assistant Plus Package to get access to adaptive cruise with stop-and-go capability as well as active lane-keeping.
Expect a full review closer to launch.