BMW's stable of sports activity vehicles are getting some subtle tweaks: the basic X3 will be gifted with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the X5 will soon be available with an appearance package called the M Sport.
The engine in question is a familiar powerplant by now: it's the TwinPower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder motor, dubbed the N20 by its creator, and it makes a stout 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque thanks to a twin-scroll turbocharger. It's slated to become the base engine for the X3 xDrive28i, which means it'll replace the current xDrive28i's 3.0-liter inline-six. As with the outgoing six, the turbo four will be mated to BMW's eight-speed automatic transmission.
As in all of its other applications, the N20 promises little compromise. The new engine has the same power output as the old one, but has 39 more pound-feet of torque -- the TwinPower's 260 to the inline-six's 221 -- and higher fuel economy. Fuel economy numbers for the X3 with the new engine aren't final yet, but swapping out an I-6 for the turbo I-4 in the 5 Series resulted in between four and eight percent better fuel economy. The 0-60 time, meanwhile, seems to be unchanged, at 6.7 seconds.
As with most other BMWs, the X3 will also get Driving Experience Control, which offers four modes of driving, Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. Eco Pro tunes throttle inputs as well as the heating/air conditioning for maximum efficiency, while sport mode sharpens responses from the steering and throttle. Sport +, additionally, will turn off Dynamic Stability Control.
If that isn't sporty or large enough for you, however, there's another new option: the X5 M Sport Package. The package adds an aerodynamic kit, as well as a sportier suspension setting and special 20-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, the M Sport gets some BMW Individual pieces like a special gray headliner and piano black trim strips, as well as electrically adjustable sport seats which can be upholstered in Alcantara and black Nappa leather.
BMW says it hasn't finalized plans to bring the X5 M Sport to the States yet. However, production of the newfour-cylinder-equipped X3 will start in April at BMW's South Carolina plant, which means it'll be available in showrooms this May.