Wednesday, January 7, 2009

BMW reconfirms 3 Series Crossover

No breaking news here, but according to Autocar UK, BMW's CEO Norbert Reithofer has confirmed the future launch of a smaller, more affordable luxury crossover, internally named V3. The first rumors of a 2012 BMW 3 Series Crossover surfaced back in April of 2008 and L.A Auto Show brought the official confirmation that the V3 model will make it to production.

The PAC, Progressive Activity Coupe or V3, as it is known internally, is expected to based on Long Wheel Base 3 Series. The Progressive Activity Coupe has a higher roof when compared to the existing 3 Series Wagon and of course, a longer wheelbase as well. According to Autocar, it will fill a slot between the 3 Series Touring and the BMW X3, a statement that might not be entirely true, since the next generation X3 will grow in size and the X1 will be taking its place.

The idea of a PAC vehicle is that the little less wealthy 3er customers might find 5 Series too expensive, X3 too big, so they might find the V3 PAC being the right choice.

As Autocar mentioned as well, we learned a while back that the 3-series crossover will come with rear-wheel drive as standard, but four-wheel drive will be offered as an option.

The engines are likely to be the ones from the BMW 3-series models, with a future line-up of turbocharged four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, basically expect all the "goodies" from the 3 Series to make it into the PAC as well.

The last two paragraphs on the Autocar article are probably the most interesting ones:

When he was asked if the worldwide financial crisis had affected plans for the 3-series GT, Reithofer said, "We haven't cancelled the development project for a crossover off the 3-series because it is considered a volume builder with which we can earn good money."


Reithofer has been studying proposals to build the new car at BMW's Spartanburg factory in the US state of South Carolina, or the company's Rosslyn plant in South Africa, the source of the majority of 3-series saloons sold in the UK.

The first quote reinforces what we knew so far: BMW will focus on smaller vehicles, more efficient and less expensive to manufacture. The second one gives great hope to the Spartanburg Plant which will see an increase in production units per year and implicitly more jobs.

[Source: Autocar ]



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