BMW announces new 18d entry level, rear wheel drive variant of the X3 Crossover that delivers an outstanding 23.4 Kmpl
German luxury car maker BMW will begin selling an entry level variant of the X3 Crossover in European markets from October 2012. The cut price model of the X3, called the 18d variant, will dump the all wheel drive function to be available in rear wheel drive guise. The crossover will feature a detuned 2 liter, 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine. The engine on the 18d version of the X3 will generate a peak power of 143 Bhp while peak torque comes in at 360 Nm. When compared to the more powerful state of tune that the 2 Liter turbo diesel engine is available in, the detuned engine develops 34 Bhp-20 Nm lesser in terms of power and torque.
The cut price version of the BMW X3 will be available with the choice of two transmission options, a six speed manual gearbox and an 8 speed automatic transmission. The new engine’s hallmark will be the high fuel economy number, which at 23.4 Kmpl in the European combined driving cycle, is outstanding for an SUV of the X3′s size. Also, the carbon dioxide emissions of the detuned x3 are lower than that of the bigger engined and more powerful models. Along with a lower price tag, the X3 18d is positioned to appeal to buyers wanting a more fuel efficient crossover which is quite affordable too.
Even though the X3 18d variant is highly fuel efficient, the crossover remains very peppy with some excellent performance figures. The 0-100 Kph sprint comes up in under 10 seconds while top speed is a considerable 195 Kph. In India, BMW sells the X3 in two variants, both diesel versions. The 2 liter and 3 liter diesel engines are used on the Indian variant of the BMW X3, which is assembled from completely knocked down(CKD) kits at BMW India’s Chennai assembly plant. Despite being competitively priced, the BMW X3 has failed to knock the Audi Q5 crossover off its perch, as the best selling, high end luxury SUV in the Indian car market.
Therefore, the new cut price variant of the BMW X3 18d makes a bunch of sense for the Indian car market, in that it allows BMW to price the X3 much lower than the Q5, thereby making for a compelling buy. That said, it remains to be seen whether BMW India will bite the bullet and bring the cut price X3 18d variant to the Indian market. Given the stiff competition it is facing with Audi snapping at BMW’s heels when it comes to sales in India, the number 1 luxury car maker in the world might just bring the cut price X3 to India.