BMW Unveils Rear-Wheel Drive X3 sDrive18d

By Dan Collins on 19 August 2012
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BMW announced a new addition to the X3 Sport Activity Vehicle lineup, the BMW X3 sDrive18d.  The new model is BMWs first rear-wheel drive X3 and makes extensive use of the brand’s EfficientDynamics suite of fuel saving technologies to deliver 46 miles per gallon (5.11 l/100 km) in the mixed EU cycle.

The 2.0-liter four cylinder diesel engine develops 143 horsepower and 265 pound feet of torque and is offered with a choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The X3 sDrive18d propels itself from 0 to 62mph (0-100 km/h) in 9.9 seconds with the manual transmission.

This new model, which will not be offered in the U.S., comes with the same equipment as all other X3 models, with the exception of Hill Descent Control, which is part of the company’s xDrive All-Wheel-Drive system. The addition of the rear-wheel drive model allows the X3 to fit into the threshold for lower tax rates in countries, such as the United Kingdom, where vehicles are taxed based on their CO2 emissions. With the tax advantages, the price of this model allows BMW to enter and compete in a new market segment.

The X3 sDrive18d joins the three other diesel models offered in markets outside of the U.S., the 2.0-liter xDrive20d four cylinder, the 3.0-liter six cylinder xDrive30d and the 3.0-liter xDrive35d. The U.S. X3 offerings are currently only gasoline powered and include the 2.0-liter four cylinder xDrive28i and 3.0-liter six cylinder xDrive35i. BMM also offers also an X3 xDrive20i four cylinder model in select markets outside the U.S.

All X3, X5, and X6 models are built in Spartanburg, South Carolina and are exported worldwide. BMW moved production of the X3 from a Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria to South Carolina in 2010 in conjunction with a major expansion of its assembly facility and the redesign of the X3.

(Photo: Jonathan Spira)