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BMW has just launched the new X3 in India. Prices start at Rs. 41.20 lakhs for xDrive20d and Rs. 47.90 lakhs for the xDrive30d. The 2012 BMW X3 is being assembled at the company’s facility in Chennai. The old X3 was brought in as a CBU. The new X3 is offered with two diesel engines – xDrive20d and xDrive30d. The xDrive20d uses a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder motor which produces 184 BHP of power at 4000 RPM and 350 Nm of torque between 1750-2750 RPM. Remember, this is the same engine which does duty on the X1, 320d and 520d and returns a ARAI certified mileage of 16 kmpl on the X3. The BMW X3 reaches 0-100 kmph in 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 210 kmph with this engine. The xDrive30d on the other hand uses a 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder motor which produces 258 bhp of power at 4000 RPM and a mindblowing 560 Nm of torque between 2000-2750 RPM. 0-100 kmph comes up in just 6.2 seconds with top speed being restricted to 210 kmph. We are at the launch and will update this post with more information soon.

“The first-generation BMW X3 was the pioneer in its segment. We are confident that the second generation BMW X3 will inherit the position of its predecessor as the benchmark and will strengthen it further. The launch of the new BMW X3 is a significant milestone in our growth strategy in India and will beyond doubt accelerate the luxurious and dynamic characteristic of the brand,” Dr. Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW India, said.

Both engines of the new X3 will be mated to a 8-Speed Automatic Transmission. The xDrive20d 20d will sport 17-inch wheels while the xDrive30d will come with 18-inch wheels. Features include hill start assist, hill descent control, driver adjustable suspension in 3 modes – Normal, Sport and Sport+, Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED light rings, iDrive with 6.5 inch display for xDrive20d and 8.8 inch display for xDrive30d. The luggage compartment can be folded to increase boot capacity from 550 liters to 1600 liters. Rear seat back can be divided in 3 parts in the ratio of 40/20/20.

The deliveries of the X3 xDrive20d will start in September whereas xDrive30d in October, 2011. BMW’s Chennai plant has started a second shift and the company has increased production capacity to 11000 units per year. The new BMW X3 will be available in eight colours – Alpine White (non-metallic), while the ret of the colours are metallic – Titanium Silver, Sparkling Bronze, Black Sapphire, Deep Sea Blue, Vermillion Red Mineral Silver and Space Grey. Leather Nevada is the standard upholstery for the new X3 and is available in the Beige, Black, Red Brown/Black, Havanna/Black and Oyster/Black colours.

During the press conference, questions were asked to Dr. Andreas Schaaf on Mercedes-Benz entering the youth segment. His reply was that Mercedes is able to sell cars to old people, while Audi is not able to sell to fathers and uncles. He says that BMW has no problems with demographics and sell their cars to people of all ages. The Bavarian automaker sees the new X3 as a volume model and expect to sell around 100 units every month. The company has already received pre-launch bookings and have got a phenomenal response to the new X3. The new X3 was scheduled to be launched in May but had been delayed due to supply constraints from BMW headquarters. The company did not want to create a waiting period like on the X1 and have thus delayed the launch by a few months. The reason for no petrol engine in the new X3 line-up is due to diesel being more suited to SUVs. However petrol X3 might be launched in the future but there are no plans yet.

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