Update: Australian debut confirmed for mid- to late-2012.
BMW has downsized another of its new models, shrinking the heart of the X3 xDrive28i SUV from a 3.0 litre six-cylinder mill to the new turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder.
As with its "28i" stablemates, the updated X3 xDrive28i offers 180kW and 350Nm of torque. Compared to the outgoing six-cylinder engine, power is down from 190kW from to 180kW, but torque climbs from 310 to 350Nm.
The additional torque also gives the midsized SUV a boost in acceleration, with its claimed 0-100km/h time falling from 6.9 to 6.7 seconds.
Fuel economy is the big winner here however, with the new four-cylinder engine drawing consumption down to 7.5 l/100km, versus 9.0 l/100km for the outgoing six-cylinder.
In Europe, the 2012 X3 range also comes with BMW's Driving Experience Control, adding four selectable modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro.
Depending on the setting, the system will adjust the sensitivity of the stability control, damping and accelerator response.
Australian timing for the updated X3 xDrive28i has yet to be announced, but speaking with TMR this week, BMW Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed that a mid- to late-2012 launch is likely.