New BMW X3 undergoes final tests ahead of launch

MUNICH/MIRAMAS: BMW's upcoming fourth-generation X3 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV or SUV to everyone else) is at the tail end of its series development as it undergoes its final chassis control and driver assistance system tunings at the BMW Group test center in Miramas, southern France.

Slated for unveiling in a few weeks, this mid-range SUV will feature advanced combustion and plug-in hybrid engines, aimed at improving efficiency and driving experience.

BMW said the extensive development program ensures that all model variants of the new X3 excel in handling across various driving scenarios.

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This rigorous testing regime, which has included trials in snow, ice, extreme heat, and off-road conditions, also aims to refine the SUV’s usability in daily commuting and long-distance travel.

BMW engineers are said to have tested the vehicle in diverse environments such as urban traffic, winding rural roads, highways, and race tracks to guarantee its adaptability and performance consistency.

The vehicle's dynamic capabilities have been honed at Miramas's multifaceted test track, which features a mix of asphalt, slalom courses, serpentine tracks, and off-road routes.

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This has allowed for fine adjustments to the vehicle's acceleration, suspension, damping, steering precision, and braking—enhancing both driving dynamics and efficiency through intelligent lightweight construction and optimised aerodynamics.

Notably, the new X3 boasts a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.27, setting a new benchmark within its segment.

Improvements over its predecessor include a wider track, reduced lift at the rear axle, and heightened rigidity in the body and chassis connections.

These changes, along with a 19% increase in the caster of the front wheels and a more direct steering ratio, significantly enhance directional stability and steering responsiveness.

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The new X3 also features advanced anti-roll bars that bolster cornering dynamics without compromising comfort.

An option for an adaptive chassis with electronically controlled shock absorbers is available, allowing drivers to choose from two settings tailored to varying driving conditions.

Additionally, the vehicle includes the latest version of BMW Lateral Dynamics Management, ensuring precise control over steering torques, wheel slip limitation, and yaw torque distribution.

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Automated driving features have also received substantial upgrades in the new X3, with the integration of the latest BMW iDrive system based on Operating System 9.

This system includes an expanded array of automated driving and parking aids, significantly advancing over the previous model.

The X3 exceeds Euro NCAP safety test requirements and introduces sophisticated sensors and software enhancements that promote smooth interactions between the vehicle and its driver.

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Key features include the Active Lane Change Assistant and a Parking and Manoeuvre Assistant, which can be operated via smartphone, allowing for external vehicle control during parking maneuvers.

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Autos BMW