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Details of the upcoming second-generation BMW X3 have been confirmed by BMW, just a week after news broke of a 300-hp xDrive35i model. While a long list of engines will be offered in other markets, North American will likely get just two of them, a 268-hp 3.0-liter inline-six in the xDrive28i model and the 300ish horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six in the xDrive35i.
Both models are also set to come with a new 8-speed automatic transmission that should help deliver much improved fuel economy. Other fuel economy improvements will come through the use of a new electric power steering system and light weight materials to reduce the overall weight of the compact crossover. According to AutoCar, the base X3 xDrive20d model offered in Europe will weight as much as 50 lbs less than the outgoing model.
Other models set for Europe include the xDrive30d, with a 241-hp 3.0-liter diesel. It's possible this engine or the 335d's engine could be offered in North America as well.
Slotting in between the new X1 and X5 model, the X3 grows considerably measuring roughly 3.3-inches longer, one inch wider, and 1.5-inches higher. The wheelbase has been stretched by 15mm (roughly half an inch) which should not only add interior room but also deliver a more comfortable ride. Also helping int he ride department is a new Variable Damping Control system. The rear cargo area also expands to a total of 19.4 cubic feet.
BMW is expected to officially announce full X3 details in the coming months with the crossover's official debut set for the Paris Auto Show this September. An ActiveHybrid model is expected to debut afterwards, possibly in 2012.
More: 2011 BMX X3 Preview: 300-hp xDrive35i Model, 8-Speed Automatic Transmission on AutoGuide.com