Adventure to the Power of X.

The all-new BMW X3 is all about living your independence passionately; it’s about joy in the pursuit of freedom. With that in mind, we’ve compiled seven South African adventures that unlock the character of this marvellous machine.

Published: November 2017
Video/Photos: BMW Group, Getty Images, Shutterstock

1. The Adventure: Tackle a Mountain Bike Trail


The inspiration: Mountain biking is a sport requiring skill and control on both uphills and downhills, using gears accurately to effectively control your ascent and descent, and make the most efficient use of your energy. The BMW X3’s eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission and xDrive including hill descent control exemplifies this skill. It’s designed to be even more efficient than ever before, helping to lower fuel consumption and emissions. The BMW X3’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system including hill descent control offers superior grip on slippery surfaces and has a beneficial effect on driving dynamics, too.


BMW Lifestyle also collaborated with premium bike manufacturer SPECIALIZED to produce a limited edition of the Specialized Turbo Levo: the SPECIALIZED for BMW Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie, an e-mountain bike that provides powerful pedal assistance despite being barely audible or perceptible. The 504Wh battery pack features a handy docking mechanism so that it can also be detached from the bike and charged separately. The charging cable, specially developed by BMW, has an ingenious design that allows convenient in-car charging from the 12V power socket in the boot without impairing the functioning of the vehicle’s battery.


The experience: South Africa offers some spectacular mountain biking routes. Tokai Forest Mountain Biking Trail in Cape Town’s Table Mountain National Park takes you through beautiful plantations. Impala Ranch MTB Trails in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, takes you through fynbos, forest, rocky terrain, and up and down mountainsides. Giba Gorge between Durban and Pietermaritzburg offers 30km of main trails, linked up with another 10km of alternative routes. Just outside Centurion, the Big Red Barn has trails through a 20-acre eucalyptus forest, and looks out over an expansive vista of fields, grasslands and the Kaal River.


BMW X3’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is all about superior grip on slippery surfaces.

2. The Adventure: Discover No Man’s Land


The inspiration: Rock climbing is the kind of adventure that defies the usual laws of gravity – it’s about grip, strength, balance and coordination; understanding nature and the terrain and almost becoming one with it. The BMW X3’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is all about superior grip on slippery surfaces and the benefits of grip and balance on driving dynamics.


The experience: Rocklands in the Cederberg mountains north of Cape Town offers a pristine bouldering area with a diverse range of sandstone and interesting shapes. Waterval Boven in Mpumalanga is world famous for its selection of more than 600 climbing routes on hard sandstone in a spectacular setting. In Shongweni in KwaZulu-Natal, The Wave Cave is famous for its exhilarating overhang and handholds.


3. The Adventure: Big Wave Surfing


The inspiration: Big wave surfing exemplifies the extreme adventure – it’s as thrilling as it is dangerous. It takes the usual skills of a surfer – balance, coordination, precision and control – and pushes them to the absolute limit. The all-new BMW X3’s sport steering is the automotive incarnation of these characteristics. Additions like the sports suspension that forms part of the M Sport package and Dynamic Damper Control offer the keen driver firmer suspension and damping. At the same time, the driver can use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics between the more comfortable and the sportier ends of the scale.


The experience: The most famous and extreme big wave surfing destination in South Africa, where a range of big wave surfing events including the Billabong XXL Awards and the Red Bull Big Wave Africa Contest are held, is undoubtedly Dungeons Beach in Hout Bay. It is recognised as one of the best in the world, known to unleash waves of over 14m high. Other big wave spots that attract the brave include Sunset Reef in Kommetjie and Bay View in Hermanus.



4. The Adventure: Walk with the World’s Fastest Animal


The inspiration: The cheetah is the embodiment of nature at its most extreme expression of agility, speed and precision. The all-new BMW X3 has the ideal 50:50 weight distribution for a beneficial effect on driving dynamics. Dynamic Stability splits the power between all four wheels, which can be constantly varied to always produce the handling characteristics for which BMW is renowned, even when the driver is pressing on.


The experience: You can get up close and personal and even walk with the world’s fastest hunter at a number of rehabilitation centres for these majestic creatures. Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre outside Plettenberg Bay offers a walk with cheetahs during their daily enrichment programme. The Ann van Dyke Cheetah Centre in the North West province is a conservation project that offers guided tours. Cheetah Outreach near Somerset West offers personal encounters with cheetahs, and views of cheetah runs.



5. The Adventure: Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai


The inspiration: The physiognomy of the shark suggests dominance of its realm at a glance. It’s the very embodiment of dynamism, efficiency and design that expresses its physical ability. The BMW X3 M40i heralds the arrival of the first ever M Performance Automobile in this model series, blending an insatiable appetite for revs and sublime pulling power with exemplary smoothness and shark-like efficiency.


The experience: Come face to face with the king of the sea by cage diving with great whites, and witness the power, speed and perfection of these majestic and deadly creatures in their own environment. Some of the best experiences are to be found in Gansbaai in the Western Cape.



6. The Adventure: Deep Sea Diving


The inspiration: When you are diving deep underneath the surface of the ocean, safety systems are absolutely crucial – in fact, they represent the difference between life and death. Likewise, when it comes to driver assistance and (semi-)automated driving, BMW CoPilot’s vastly improved safety capabilities include braking the car to a halt in stop-and-go traffic and automatically pulling away again. The Lane Change Warning, Lane Keeping Assistant, and Steering and Lane Control Assistant all form part of the optional Driving Assistant Plus safety package and work via active steering inputs. Together with the Priority Warning, Wrong-way Warning and Crossing Traffic Warning systems, these functions enhance both comfort and safety.


The experience: South Africa’s coastlines offer spectacular scuba-diving opportunities for exhilarating expeditions below the ocean’s surface. Four of the best include the legendary Sodwana on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, which is famous for its coral reefs and diverse undersea wildlife. On the south coast, Aliwal Shoal offers opportunities to dive two shipwrecks, the SS Nebo and Produce. Scuba Shack in Cape Town offers cow shark and kelp forest dives, and Into the Blue offers seal dives, wreck dives and reef dives.



7. The Adventure: Skydiving


The inspiration: Aerodynamics is essential to performance. Less resistance means more stability and BMW is renowned for its excellent drag-coefficient figures, thanks to a range of mutually optimised aerodynamic elements, which in turn has a positive effect on efficiency and fuel consumption.


The experience: For your own personal experience of adrenaline in the air and a taste of the force and effects of the rush of air at high speed, the ultimate adventure is a skydive. Some of the best experiences are offered by Mother City Skydiving on the border of the Swartland. Closer to Johannesburg, Skydive Parys offers amazing scenery. In Eston, KwaZulu-Natal, between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Skydive Durban boasts stunning views of the rolling sugar cane fields down to the Valley of a Thousand Hills.