BMW is set to spice up the X3 SUV line-up in India with the launch of the 255bhp, 3.0-litre straight-six ‘30d’ diesel variant. While the X3 was sold with this engine in the past, the facelifted model that went on sale last year was only made available with BMW’s new 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel. In order to differentiate this version of the X3 from the lesser one, BMW will offer it with an M Sport kit as standard, similar to what the company does with the 530d. It will feature sportier wheels, a more pronounced front bumper with larger air intakes and M badges inside and out. Another inclusion exclusive to this model will be paddle shifters for the eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Interestingly, when this X3 goes on sale around June this year, it will be the first model to host the locally assembled version of the 3.0-litre diesel engine. BMW also uses the same motor on the 5-series, 7-series and X5. Local assembly of the 2.0-litre diesel engine found on the 3-series, 5-series and X3 is set to commence March. In fact, BMW is aggressively targeting more local assembly and more local content in its cars to drive down costs and cut waiting periods.
The move comes at a time when BMW is trailing rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi in terms of sales. It is understood BMW sold less than 7,000 cars in 2014 as compared to Mercedes-Benz India’s tally of 10,201 units and Audi India’s 10,851 units in the same period.