Next-generation BMW X3 delayed for U.S., cheaper 4-cylinder model being considered

2009 BMW X3

The launch of the next-generation BMW X3 SUV has been delayed to encourage buyers to custom order the crossover according to their specifications. According to the CEO of BMW North America, Jim O’Donnell, the move will allow BMW to offer up to four engine choices at launch, making a lower-priced version available from the beginning. The current BMW X3 is only available with an all-wheel-drive model that starts at $39,575.

The delay means that the next-generation X3 won’t hit U.S. showrooms until mid-2011, six months after the model goes on sale in Europe.

Production of the BMW X3 will be moved from Magna Steyr in Austria to BMW’s Spartanburg, S.C., factory.

O’Donnell says that lower-priced versions could offer a 4-cylinder gasoline and a diesel variant. He said that a final decision will be made by the end of this year.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: AutoWeek