Five years after the presentation of the compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), the 500 000th BMW X3 is leaving the assembly line. The production anniversary marks a further milestone in the triumphant international success story of the agile all-wheel model. Thanks to its agile handling characteristics, the BMW X3 has not only set a trend but has also set benchmarks. Its remarkable popularity is reflected in numerous awards and an outstanding position in the market conquered by the BMW X3 as the only premium vehicle in its class to date.

The anniversary vehicle, which leaves the factory owned by the BMW Group’s production associate Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, on 18th June 2008, will be donated by the BMW Group to earthquake victims in the Chinese province of Sichuan. In September, it is to be auctioned off following the Destination X Tour 2008 in China. All proceeds will go to the China Charity Organisation and the BMW Warm Heart Fund.

Its outstanding agility and exemplary efficiency underline the continuing market success of the BMW X3, following its launch five years ago. To this date, more than 1.25 million BMW X models have been sold worldwide.

Press release after the jump.

500 000 BMW X3s – a milestone in a global success story

From the very beginning, the market success of the BMW X3 was a global phenomenon. In the year 2007 alone, more than 110,000 units were sold worldwide. International demand also resulted in the production capacity in Graz, Austria, being augmented by a so-called “completely knocked down assembly” at three locations outside the European Union. In this way, markets in which the import of fully assembled vehicles is impeded due for example to customs regulations, have access to models that are appealing. Therefore, the BMW X3 is built within the framework of the CKD assembly scheme at the locations Cairo (Egypt), Kaliningrad (Russia) and Rayong (Thailand).

Moreover, depending on the market environment, there is a choice of different engine variants. In Europe, three versions of both the petrol and the diesel engine are currently available for the BMW X3. The performance spectrum ranges from 110 kW/150 bhp for the BMW X3 2.0i with a four-cylinder petrol engine to 210 kW/286 bhp for the BMW X3 3.0sd powered by a straight sixcylinder oil burner with Variable Twin Turbo.

The 500 000th BMW X3 has a straight six-cylinder petrol engine with a composite magnesium-aluminium crankcase and variable VALVETRONIC valve management under the bonnet. The BMW X3 3.0si featuring this drivetrain develops an output of 200 kW/272 bhp. With its individualistic ruby red metallic body colour, the anniversary vehicle is also unique to the Chinese car market.

This is a further reason why the BMW Group can hope to obtain the highest possible price when the anniversary car is auctioned off. The auction for the China Charity Organisation will conclude the Destination X Tour 2008. At this outdoor adventure event held annually by the BMW Group, participants complete a particularly demanding rally on Chinese highways and on nontarmac roads where the BMW X3 can really show what it is made of.

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  (82) posted on 06.19.2008

and they will keap building them because everyone wants one smiley

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