Entering its fourth year in production this year, BMW has revealed the refreshed X3 and X3 M Competition due in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Still carrying the G01 internal moniker, the refreshed third generation X3, which will continue to be manufactured at the Rosslyn Plant outside Pretoria, becomes the latest model to receive BMW’s new kidney grille, albeit not as controversial as on the iX and M3/M4.
As well as new LED headlights with the option of upgrading to the Matrix LED or Laser Light diodes, the latter now with a lighting range of 650 metres, BMW has also afforded the X3 with redesigned front and rear bumpers, revised underbody protection, new taillights, flush exhaust outlets, new taillights, a choice of eleven colours including a new hue called Skyscraper Grey.
Also updated, the ever popular M Sport package boasts high gloss black detailing, revised bumpers and side skirts, standard 19-inch Y-spoke Midnight Grey bi-colour alloy wheels with the option of blue or red M brake calipers, a new colour called Brooklyn Grey Metallic and the option of 20 or 21-inch wheels.
Building on the tweaks, the Competition comes as standard with the adaptive Matrix LED headlights, in addition to featuring new vertical side air intakes, a black finish for the grille, a model specific bodykit, gloss black detailing and standard 21-inch alloy wheels as well as blue or optional red brake calipers.
Reserved for the M are coast extra lightweight 21-inch forged alloys that save two kilograms, the M sport exhaust system with quad outlets integrated into the diffuser, black chrome accents and the added option of a Carbon Black Metallic paint option.
Inside, the X3 now boasts the same centre console as the 4 Series with the Live Cockpit Plus system receiving the 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment display with 7.0 operating system plus over-the-air updates as standard, while having the option of upgrading to the bigger 12.3-inch setup that forms part of the step-up Professional system.
Also available with the Plus system is a new Heads-Up Display with the Professional boasting a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as an option in addition to the Heads-Up. Making up the rest of the changes is a new touch rotary dial controller for the iDrive system, the BMW Driving Assistant Professional system, optional ambient lighting package, standard automatic or optional tri-zone climate control and sport seats trimmed in Ray imitation leather.
In the case of the Competition, the M sport seats with illuminated M headrests are trimmed in a choice of four colour Merino leather hides and are standard, along with new dark Rhombicle alloy inserts, the leather wrapped M steering wheels and optional open-pore ash wood accents.
The biggest departure from current X3 though is underneath the bonnet where all models, aside from the M40i and Competition, utilise mild-hybrid assistance in a form of a 48-volt system that provides an eight kilowatt overboost function aside from recouping and storing energy otherwise lost during braking.
For South Africa though, a choice of two conventional turbo-petrol and three turbodiesel engines are offered, all paired to the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox with the sports ratio setup optional but standard on the M40i and Competition.
Commencing the petrol line-up is the rear-wheel-drive only sDrive 20i whose 2.0-litre unit punches out 135kW/290Nm. The second option comes in the form of the mentioned M40i whose 3.0-litre straight-six has been upgraded from 265 kW to 285 kW with torque remaining unchanged at 500 Nm.
On the diesel side, the sDrive 18d starts the range off and as evident by its name, is rear-wheel-drive only with outputs of 110kW/350Nm from its 2.0-litre engine. Moving one up, the ever popular xDrive 20d uses the same engine but rated at 140kW/400Nm while the 3.0-litre straight-six xDrive 30d completes the line-up with ratings of 195kW/620Nm.
Like the M40i, the Competition is once again motivated by a 3.0-litre engine, but in the guise of the S58 unit used in the M3/M4 and pushing out 375 kW and 650 Nm of torque, a jump of 50 Nm. Top speed is unchanged at 250 km/h or 285 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package, however, the 0-100 km/h sprint drops by 0.3 seconds to a claimed 3.8 seconds.
As indicated, production will commence from the fourth quarter with pricing to be announced later.