BMW NA urged Munich designers to offer better cupholders in 2011 X3

2011 BMW X3 gets side-door cupholder

German automakers are widely known for lacking ergonomics in designing cupholders – so it was pretty amusing when BMW of North America focused on telling Munich designers to get cupholders right in the 2011 BMW X3.

Why would Munich listen? Well, the rise in BMW’s U.S. sales over the past two years, which even eclipsed BMW sales in the German market, made designers and engineers in Munich more willing to accommodate quirky American preferences.

“That didn”t mean we could take over the design,” said Joe Wierda, the X3 product manager at BMW. “But it did mean we could get good cupholders and we won”t get dinged by J.D. Power for not having them. “That was one thing I spent the past three years doing — trying to get the guys back in Munich to understand that we”ve got to get the cupholders right. We sent over Big Gulp cups and big McDonald”s cups and said, “˜This is really what we have to address.” “

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Refresher: The 2011 BMW X3 will go on sale at the end of 2010 and will be available in the United States in two model variants including the 2011 X3 xDrive28i and the 2011 xDrive35i. The X3 xDrive28i is powered by a 3.0L inline 6-clyinder engine making 240-hp and 230 lb-ft of torque. That allows it to go from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, about half a second quicker than the outgoing X3 xDrive30i. The BMW X3 xDrive35i is powered by a 3.0L inline 6-clyinder N55 with direct fuel injection, twin-scroll turbo technology and Valvetronic. The engine makes 300-hp and a maximum torque of 300 lb-ft. That allows the X3 xDrive35i to sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 150 mph when fitted with the optional Sport Package.

2011 BMW X3:

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)