BMW has announced details of the forthcoming 2.0-litre diesel engined X3, due to go on sale in October.

The X3 2.0d uses the familiar 2.0-litre engine used elsewhere in the BMW range, and produces 150bhp at 4,000rpm and 330Nm (243lb/ft) of torque at 2,000rpm, with power being delivered through a standard six-speed manual gearbox.

62mph comes up in 10.2 seconds, with a 123mph top speed. Economy is set to be around 39.2mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 191g/km.

Priced from £26,175 and available in both standard and SE spec, the new off-roader uses the same xDrive four-wheel drive system from the other X3 models and its bigger X5 brother. The system uses a centrally mounted, electronically-controlled clutch to distribute power to the axle with most traction in less than 100 milliseconds. The system works in conjunction with BMW’s standard DSC system, which can reduce power and even brake individual wheels to ensure the car benefits from all available grip.

Other acronyms available include Trailer Stability Control (TSC), which comes as standard with a factory fitted tow bar, and keeps any pendulum effect in check, and the Land Rover-derived Hill Descent Control system (HDC) to keep the vehicle under control while negotiating steep gradients.

All BMW X3 2.0d models will be equipped with 17″ alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, CD player, roof rails, an alarm and Brake Force Display, BMW’s new two-stage brake lights. SE models additionally feature a front centre armrest, front fog lamps, multifunction steering wheel with cruise control, on-board computer and Park Distance Control.

From autumn 2005, a six-cylinder 3.0 diesel derivative will also be available in SE or Sport form, details of which will be announced nearer the time.