New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

BMW X3 gets better

2006-06-28 06:59

Fresh look for BMW X3

According to BMW the face-lifted X3 offers buyers the very latest in engine technology.

The big news is a new diesel engine, which is a twin-turbo unit with an output of 3-litre diesel with an output of 210 kW and 580 Nm of torque.

Such power places the X3 3.0sd into the realm of sports car acceleration with a zero to 100 km/h sprint of 6.6 seconds.

Completing the triumvirate of new six-cylinder engines to the X3 are a 2.5-litre 160 kW petrol unit and a new 200 kW 3-litre petrol engine.

The existing 2-litre diesel as well as the current 160 kW 3-litre diesel engine are still on offer too.

With the exception of the BMW X3 3.0si and 3.0sd, which use a six-speed automatic gearbox, all X3 variants come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

A six-speed automatic gearbox is also an option on all six-cylinder engined cars.

A new look

BMW's designers have subtly altered the car to freshen its appeal.

At the front a larger kidney grille sits above a redesigned front bumper and spoiler.

On the new car a colour-coded spoiler with vertical uprights is positioned below the dark swathe of the bumper, while the front foglights are now incorporated into the main section of the bodywork.

The X3 3.0sd rides on 18-inch light alloy wheels as standard while larger twin exhaust pipes protrude from under the rear valance.

The side profile remains true to the original X3, but the rear new light clusters feature rods of LED lights.

The styling of the rear bodywork has also changed with colour-coded panels now extending lower down the bodywork.

Inside, the driver can get to grips with a new style of three-spoke steering wheel while enhancements to the type of materials used on the centre console have also been included.

Enhanced traction control

To aid performance and safety the new BMW X3 features the very latest traction control system allied to xDrive, BMW's four-wheel-drive system.

For the first time on a BMW X model BMW's innovative Dynamic Stability Control + (DSC+) system is fitted as standard.

In addition to the all round traction control benefits of such technology, DSC+ on the X3 comes with four additional features aimed at improving safety.

Brake Pre-tensioning shortens stopping distances during an emergency stop by priming the brakes should the driver lift off the accelerator sharply in preparation.

Brake Drying improves braking performance in the wet by periodically applying the brake pads to scrub away the film of water that can build up on the brake discs.

Hill Start Assistant allows a manual transmission car to pull away smoothly on a gradient without rolling backwards, courtesy of the brakes being held for the short time it takes the driver to apply the accelerator after releasing the foot or handbrake.

Brake Fade Compensation applies additional braking without any extra effort from the driver should sensors detect that the brake pads are starting to lose 'bite' due to heat build up.

In another first on an X model the driver will now be able to select the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) function of DSC.

DTC allows for a greater degree of wheel slip for more spirited driving without the main traction control system safety net intervening.

  • BMW SA spokesperson Guy Kilfoil told Wheels24 that the new X3 range will only arrive here in 2007. The new 21- kW diesel model is not destined for local sale as well.

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