BMW has recently announced that it will begin production of the long-awaited 3-Series CUV, according to a recent AutoWeek.com article. It is expected to be labeled as the F3 when it hits dealerships sometime in 2010, BMW says, and will likely target Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 buyers.
The F3 crossover will sit on a modified version of the existing 3-series platform and share various BMW X3 components, such as the new FlexRay system that will provide the network for the CUV's driver-aid and safety features. BMW says that its new crossover will come optional with its xDrive four-wheel-drive system along with top-end versions being powered by a 3.0L, 300-hp, twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
The automaker says that its decision to give the F3 the green light came from recognizing that CUV sales have been growing in both European and U.S. markets. Autoweek quotes a BMW insider as saying that the company has "looked carefully at prevailing market trends, and there appears to be a clear shift away from old-style [multi] purpose vehicles. By combining the high seating position of a SUV with the space afforded by a traditional stationwagon, crossovers appear to be providing a clear alternative to buyers."
Source: Greg Kable. (May 21, 2007). "F3 Gets a Go: BMW Greenlights 3-Series-based Crossover." AutoWeek.com. Retrieved May 31, 2007 from www.autoweek.com.