According to BMW of North America's president, Jim O'Donnell, the Roundel crew will delay the launch of the 2011 BMW X3 by six months to establish a new customer ordering program and iron out which engines will be available in the States.

The move will apparently make the customization of the X3 both easier for consumers and less expensive for BMW, which plans to offer models with the top ten options on dealer lots. Production of the X3 will move from Magna Steyr's facility in Austria to the automaker's Spartanburg, S.C. plant, where it will be built along side the X5 and X6.

Traditionally, the X3 would be available with the bigger and more expensive inline-six at launch, but BMW plans to make four engines available at the onset, likely a naturally aspirated inline six, turbocharged six and possibly a diesel four-cylinder and the recently introduced six-pot from the 335d.

The delay means we won't be seeing the redesigned X3 in showrooms until the middle of 2011 -- some six months after BMW's U.S-built cute 'ute goes on sale in Europe. However, BMW plans to allow customers to begin ordering their X3s in October of 2010, so expect to see the revamped crossover unveiled in production (or light "concept" guise) early next year.

[Source: Autoweek]