The new X3 is offered with a variety of engines to choose from, but BMW is nonetheless developing new powertrains for its compact SUV.
The most exciting is, of course, the first-ever a X3 M performance model, but the latest word from Munich confirms that a plug-in hybrid is also on the way.
“The new X3 is a hit with customers,” said BMW chief Harald Krüger in a recent conference call. “Next year, these will be joined by M models of the X3 and X4, as well as X3 and X5 plug-in hybrids. All these models will strengthen our leading position in plug-in hybrids.”
BMWBlog projects that the X3 PHEV to pack the same powertrain as the new 330e, the plug-in version of the latest 3 Series. This combines a 2.0-liter turbo four with an electric motor to deliver 248 horsepower (251 PS, 185 kW), or as much as 288 hp (292 PS, 215 kW) on overboost.
The plug-in version of the larger X5 is slated to use a suitably more potent powertrain, expected to deliver nearly 390 horsepower (395 PS, 291 kW). As the chairman of the automaker’s management board confirms, both are slated to launch sometime in the new year ahead, alongside the new X3 M and X4 M.
As it stands, the X3 is currently offered globally with a 2.0-liter turbo four rated at 181 hp (183 PS, 135 kW) in xDrive20i spec, with a more powerful version of the same engine, good for 249 hp (251 PS, 185 kW) in the xDrive30i model, and with a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six churning out 355 hp (360 PS/265 kW) in the top M40i version. European customers also have a trio of diesels to choose from, including the xDrive20d (187 hp/140 kW), the xDrive30d (261 hp/195 kW), and the M40d (316 hp/235 kW).