Ever wonder what’s it like to drive on the red planet? You can now take a virtual drive in the new BMW X3!
Much like seeing those distinct angel eyes in your rearview mirror rocketing toward you, BMW is moving a few lightyears ahead with its new BMW X3. Automakers the world over are testing their products on different terrains but BMW now created a test drive experience on Mars. Yes, you read right, on Mars!
Talk about innovative, you can now experience the new top-spec 2018 BMW X3 M40i in a 360-degree virtual reality drive on Mars. The 360 experience is not limited to inside the Sports Activity Vehicle, as BMW likes to call its X models, you also get to see a virtual representation of the outside environment.
I’m sure it goes without saying that none of our conventional cars could be driven on the red planet. This is mainly due to our ICE (internal combustion engines) which require oxygen to operate. And, BMW’s X3 M40i is powered by an inline 6-cylinder M Performance TwinPower Turbo engine. The 3.0-litre petrol motor puts out 261 kW/ 355 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h.
In the video, some of the smart autonomous features on the new BMW X3 are also cleverly demonstrated. There are the adaptive headlights that automatically turn on when it senses the change in light conditions. Besides the semi-autonomous driving mode, there’s a crossroads warning that alerts you about oncoming vehicles and lane-keep assist. Apart from the leather interior, you will also notice the panoramic glass roof with electric sunroof and the intuitive dashboard.
Is the new M an X-factor?
The BMW X3 M40i is the first M Performance variant available in this range. Naturally, everything gets beefed up. It does a 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds. This is partly due to its 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission featuring launch control. The M40i also comes with an updated xDrive all-wheel-drive system which distributes more power to the rear.
It’s also about 54 kilograms lighter due to the use of aluminum, plastic, and carbon-fiber elements. But its big wheels will add some weight back with 20- and 21-inch wheels being optional. The M Performance version in the X3 line-up is a great addition.
Production of the all-new third generation BMW X3 takes place at the Spartanburg Plant in the United States, but will also be produced in China and South Africa. It’s likely to be launched soon.
Alongside the new M5, and the M4 CS, the X3 M40i will be making its South African debut at the BMW M Festival in October. It’s due for market release in November 2017.