The closest BMW has ever come to having an off-road vehicle was sticking its V8 engines into Range Rovers. Even it's "Sport Activity Vehicle", the X5, rarely sees time off the pavement and sticks to hauling kids to school and soccer practice. Hartge has set out to change that with an off-road program for Bimmer SUVs, the latest of which is an X3 dubbed the "Hunter". The Bavarian tuner gives the mini-ute increased ground clearance with longer springs and shocks as well as spacers up front. An underbody stainless steel skid plate, shortened axle ratio, and automatic differential locks on both axles improve its exploring capabilities. All-terrain tires are a must, and they are mounted on Hartge's lightweight 18-inch "Classic 2" wheels. For the true enthusiast, Hartge offers washable seat covers and a "green look" interior. We doubt Land Rover and Jeep owners will be flocking to their local BMW dealership for a trade-in, but it's definitely one of the more capable off-road BMWs we've seen. The press release is after the jump, and you can view the X3 Hunter in action in the gallery below.
[Source: Hartge] Hartge goes off-roading with the X3 "Hunter" - Autoblog