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The Future of German SUV's

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

While BMW is about to launch a facelift of its best seller X3 by the end of this year, a large number of rivals are waiting to dethrone the current market leader. While the X3’s restyling consists of an altered front end, new head and taillights, a more luxurious interior, and updated engines, the competing car makers will strike out against BMW with all new 4x4 SUV’s in the same class.

Mercedes is preparing a smaller M-Class dubbed “GLK” for release in 2008. The car will be built in Bremen on the same production line as the C-Class and gets power among others from a 2.2 litre four cylinder Diesel 190 HP engine and a 3.0 litre V6 fuel engine delivering 231HP.

Volkswagen is getting on with the development of the new 4x4 Golf model, based on the Golf Plus under the code-name Marrakesh. Beneath the skin, the new SUV features a re-engineered version of the Golf's 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. It will be equipped with transversely mounted engines delivering between 105 and 250 HP. The new CrossGolf / Marrakesh is Volkswagen’s second try to market a Golf off road version. Back in 1990 the first one was the not so successful Golf Country.

Audi is also making a new compact SUV to take its place below the Q7 in the company’s model range. Dubbed Q5, it is sitting on a platform featuring elements from the next A4 and A6. In order to be able to use also the important V8 power plants which are essential for the US market, the engines in this SUV will be mounted longitudinally. The Q5 is expected to debut at the beginning of 2008.

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