BMW just can't wait for the L.A. Auto Show so it can start showing off two of its latest projects for the first time in the U.S., the 2011 X3 and the next-generation 6 Series concept. The outgoing X3 that initiated the premium small SUV segment was getting rather long in the tooth, but the 2011 looks to make waves again. Meanwhile, the Concept 6 Coupe, while not a huge departure from the previous car, promises to draw from BMW's 70 years spent building sporty and elegant coupes.
To the casual observer, the 2011 X3 will again resemble an X5, just from further away. The more astute will notice some extra curves in character lines and more attention given to the shape of the windows. The X3 is still distinctly BMW but with more presence than the previous model. The interior has received just as much attention as the exterior, being brought up to current BMW standards with the addition of an electronic shifter, asymmetric center console and cleaner horizontal lines. Engine options will consist of two 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder units. The naturally aspirated N52 cranks out 240 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque thanks to both variable valve timing and lift. For those looking for a bit more pull, the xDrive35i will come with BMW's new single-turbo inline six-cylinder, the N55. With 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, the cute-ute will hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Tell the kids to hold on to their Happy Meals.
The Concept 6 Series will probably draw more lookers, but as of right now, the lux coupe is not set for production. The previous 6 was well received but didn't age as gracefully as other BMW designs. This concept is far less polarizing with classic lines and a more elegant aesthetic. The long hood and low stance give away the car's sporting intentions, but the elegantly restyled interior is perfect for touring. When the new 6 does go into production, we hope there are no drastic changes from this concept, which we first laid eyes upon at this year's Paris Auto Show.
Also appearing in Los Angeles is BMW's new ConnectedDrive multimedia system. Incorporating BlackBerry and Apple iOS4 integration, occupants will be seamlessly connected to the outside world -- Bluetooth connectivity for devices, text-to-speech email functions, and as iPod line-out/ charging features should help make digital life easier. Look for ConnectedDrive to start appearing in BMWs for the 2011 calendar year.