PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — BMW will introduce a rear-wheel-drive, lower-priced version of its redesigned X3 compact crossover this year.
The X3 has been on sale at dealerships since November. Two models, both with all-wheel drive, have been available since the launch: the xDrive30i and the performance-oriented M40i.
But a rwd model was part of the previous generation X3 lineup.
"That's something typically seen in this segment — especially in the southern states, there is volume potential for that," Ralph Mahler, BMW department manager for product planning and strategy, said at a media event in Southern California. "So that is something you will see within this year."
Mahler wouldn't say whether the rwd version would be a 2018 or 2019 model.
The rwd version likely will supplant the xDrive30i as the least-expensive X3, though pricing is not yet available. The xDrive30i starts at $43,645 including shipping.
Mahler wouldn't say whether a plug-in hybrid X3 also is planned. But a plug-in has been expected, and recent spy shots point to such a development. They show an X3 with a fuel-filler door at the rear and a cover for a plug port in the front.