New details have emerged about the 2011 BMW X3 crossover. Full coverage inside.

Over the past few days BMW held a test drive event for the upcoming 2011 BMW X3 compact SUV for select members of the media. Information was not released, but Autocar reports these are the first official details.

Set to go on sale later this year, the X3 will feature sportier styling that will give it a more premium appearance. Riding on the 3-Series platform, the 2011 X3 will be 83mm longer, 29mm wider, and 40mm taller than the current model. More importantly, the wheelbase has been extended 15mm for increased passenger room (rear legroom is up 20mm, while luggage capacity climbs 80 liters to 550 liters total). Despite being larger, the X3 will actually drop a few pounds as it is expected to weigh 20-25 kg (44-55 lbs) less than its predecessor.

Inside, the cabin is vastly improved with higher grade materials and a better design. While no pictures were released, the interior will resemble the one in the 5-Series.

At launch, petrol engines will include a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with 268 bhp / 200 kW / 272 PS (xDrive28i) and a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with 302 bhp / 225 kW / 306 PS (xDrive35i). On the turbodiesel side, there will be a 181 bhp / 135 kW / 184 PS 2.0-liter four-cylinder (xDrive20d) and a 241 bhp / 180 kW / 244 PS 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder (xDrive30d). All the engines will be connected to all-wheel drive and a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission (except the entry-level X3xDrive20d which will feature a six-speed Getrag manual). Later on, BMW will introduce the xDrive23d, with a 201 bhp / 150 kW / 204 PS 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, and an ActiveHybrid version.

Look for more information to be released when the X3 is officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

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