2005 BMW X3 Photo
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Spy Shots: 2005 BMW M5 by Brenda Priddy (6/16/2003)Five hundred for 2005. BMW has issued pictures... Read more »
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Spy Shots: 2005 BMW M5 by Brenda Priddy (6/16/2003)
Five hundred for 2005.


2005 BMW X3

2005 BMW X3

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BMW has issued pictures of its new X3, the SUV trailed at the Detroit auto show in the form of the Xactivity concept. Back in January the Munich firm insisted that the Xactivity was just a design exercise, but the stance didn’t fool too many people. It was obvious it was a production vehicle, and now the pretense has been dropped; the second of what BMW calls its “Sports Activity Vehicles” will go into production later this year after being shown to the world at the Frankfurt show in September.

The X3 moves down a size from the successful X5, putting it in the same range as vehicles like the Ford Escape. Justifying the “premium” tag it has attached to the X3, BMW is using it to launch a new four-wheel-drive system patented under the name of xDrive. According to the manufacturer, xDrive sets new standards in agility for 4x4 traction systems. It works by instantly changing torque distribution from front to rear axles and is claimed to offer “substantial improvements” in stability, driving pleasure and safety.

2005 BMW X3

2005 BMW X3

Enlarge Photo
2005 BMW X3

2005 BMW X3

Enlarge Photo
The system is both fully adjustable and infinitely variable. It feeds optimum torque to the required axle at any time, countering understeer and oversteer during cornering in road use. Off-road, it is designed to improve traction by distributing drive forces to the axle with the most grip. As soon as wheelspin threatens, the electro-hydraulic center coupling transfers power to the axle with the greater traction.

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