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BMW locks in X3 xDrive30e SUV

Plug-in hybrid technology coming to BMW’s X3 range in Q2 next year

5 Nov 2019

BMW Group Australia has confirmed it will be expanding its X3 mid-size SUV line-up in the second quarter of next year, with it to bring plug-in hybrid (PHEV) propulsion to the range for the first time.


Initially revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, the X3 xDrive30e mates a 135kW/300Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine to an 80kW electric motor integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission.


Driving all four wheels, combined output is marked at 215kW/420Nm, an improvement of 30kW/50Nm over the petrol-only X3 xDrive30i.


While pricing has not been announced, pundits can expect the xDrive30e to come in around the same price as the range’s most expensive non-performance variant, the $83,900 (plus on-road costs) xDrive30d.


BMW is targeting a fuel economy figure of between 2.1-2.4 litres per 100km with 49-54 grams of CO2 emissions per km, while completing the sprint from standstill to 100km/h will take 6.1 seconds.


Employing a 12.0kWh lithium-ion battery pack, up to 55km of pure-electric driving range is on offer, with a zero-emissions top speed of 110km/h, increased to 135km/h when selecting the Max eDrive mode.


Charging the battery through a standard household wall socket takes just under six hours, while using a high-powered BMW Wallbox cuts that time to around 3.5 hours.


BMW has set up the hybrid powertrain so that the petrol engine only kicks in at higher speeds or during high load requirements, while the battery supply can also be manually reserved by the driver, such as for switching to pure EV mode in urban areas at the end of a long journey.


With the battery stored under the rear seats and the petrol tank above the rear axle, the xDrive30e features 450 litres of luggage space, 100L down on the 550L found in internal-combustion-engined variants.


BMW Group Australia is yet to release full specification details for the new X3 PHEV but has announced it will feature acoustic pedestrian detection, where the car emits a sound from the vehicle when travelling silently at low speeds to warn surrounding pedestrians.


An auxiliary air conditioning system will also feature, allowing owners to pre-set the cabin climate through BMW’s smartphone app.


BMW Australia CEO Vikram Pawah said the xDrive30e will provide extra choice for BMW customers.


“With introduction of the new X3 xDrive30e we are providing the power of choice for our customers where they can choose the powertrain that perfectly suits their needs, from either diesel, petrol, fully electric or in this case, plug-in hybrid,” he said.


“The BMW plug-in hybrid system provides an excellent solution at a time when Australia is still finding its feet with charging infrastructure as it can run on both electric and efficient turbo-petrol power.”


Through the first three quarters of the year, BMW Group Australia has sold 3734 examples of the X3, making it the most popular model in the German brand’s stable despite a 6.4 per cent decline year-on-year.


It is also the second best-selling premium mid-size SUV, trailing only the Mercedes-Benz GLC (4515).

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