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New BMW X3 to be joined by next-generation electric iX3

BMW’s upmarket family SUV is due for an update, with pre-production cars already spotted testing on German roads

BMW X3 render - front
  • New iDrive OS8 infotainment
  • Mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains
  • Expected to arrive in 2024

Despite a recent facelift in 2021, the BMW X3 is already due for replacement. After just five years on sale, the current-generation X3 is set to be replaced by an all-new model, expected to arrive before the end of 2023. The new BMW X3 will also be joined by a new all-electric BMW iX3 and is set to renew its rivalry with the likes of the Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5.

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Based on recent spy photographs, our exclusive images show what the next-generation BMW X3 could look like. Much like the smaller X1, the X3 will get triangular trim pieces on the lower bumper as well as a squared-off kidney grille. At night, the new X3 will be identified by its sleeker LED headlights. The lights at the rear will get a redesign too, with the new car appearing much more angular than the one it replaces.

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Given the new BMW X3 will also be available in plug-in iX3 guise, BMW will almost certainly do all it can to make the SUV as aerodynamic and efficient as possible. A set of flush door handles – like those on the BMW i4 – will keep air flowing smoothly down the side of the car, while electric models could get a blanked-off grille and model-specific wheels to further streamline the car and increase its overall electric range.

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On the inside, buyers can expect a similar layout to that of the X1, with a minimalist design that features very few physical buttons. As seen on the newly-facelifted BMW 3 Series, the X3 will get BMW’s latest iDrive OS8 infotainment system; this ‘Curved Panel’ comprises a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, alongside a 14.9-inch central touchscreen. While BMW’s infotainment systems are amongst the most intuitive and responsive on the market, the latest setup integrates the climate controls into its touchscreens, which can be difficult to use when on the move.

BMW X3 render - rear

We expect the new car to sit on a modified version of the current X3’s CLAR underpinnings. Buyers can expect the X3 range to consist mostly of mild- and plug-in hybrid powertrains, alongside the aforementioned electric iX3. To remain competitive, this would need a range of over 300 miles – the current model needs plugging in after just 279 miles. Depending on when the iX3 is launched, it could instead debut BMW’s upcoming ‘Neue Klasse’ architecture; this is set to debut in 2025 and could enable even greater range figures in the iX3.

Those looking for the ultimate in performance will be pleased to hear that we also expect a high-performance X3 M variant to make an appearance sometime in the future; like the upcoming XM range-topper, this could also use a plug-in hybrid setup, but this time with a smaller 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine to provide most of the muscle.

The current X3 will set buyers back over £45,000 and it’s likely that the upcoming model could come achingly close to the £50,000 mark – even for just an entry-level example. Of course, as is the case with German luxury cars, the BMW X3’s options list is likely to be extensive, elevating its cost well into X5 territory with a few too many extras selected.

Want something as economical as it is spacious? Check out our list of the top 10 best hybrid SUVs

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