BMW is working on a new compact entry-level luxury crossover SUV based on the 3-Series and sharing components with the X3. It will be revealed in 2010.
BMW was considering the F3 since 2004, but the vehicle got green line only in 2006 when BMW’s new CEO Norbert Reithofer arrived and reviewed the five-seater CUV. The company wants that the market for the MPV models to grow by 45 percent by 2015. This is why BMW will first unveil a MPV based on the 5-Series and using influence from the X5 that will be unveiled in 2009. The F3 will follow the next year.
The F3 will be built on a modified version of the 3-Series. The F3 will use the same engines as the 3-Series. First will be a 3.0-liter inline-six engine developing 235 hp and the second one will be a twin-turbo engine with an output of 300 hp. A diesel engine or two will also be available for the European market.
The 2010 F3 will get various components from the next-generation X3, including the new FlexRay system. The FlexRay Communications System is designed to provide high-speed deterministic distributed control for advanced automotive applications. Its dual-channel architecture offers system-wide redundancy that meets the reliability requirements of emerging safety systems, such as brake-by-wire.
The first options will be a rear-wheel drive system. Next to it, BMW will add a xDrive four-wheel-drive system in combination with certain engines.
The F3 combines the high seating position of a sport/utility vehicle with the space afforded by a traditional station wagon. "Our goal is to bring a CUV to market offering the best possible dynamics," BMW said.
The F3 will be a five-door, five-passenger model with sporty design. Even if the model is a crossover, it will ride and handle like a BMW sedan. It will feature larger wheels and tires that add unsprung weight as well as high centers of gravity that diminish ride and handling quality.
The F3 will be priced between the $50.000-$75.000 range.
The F3 is BMW’s interpretation of sporty crossover. This is why finding a model that can compete with it is actually quite hard. The F3 has the same shape as the Mercedes B-Class, but is much smaller than it.