As most of BMW enthusiasts probably know, the second-gen X3 is on the market for almost six years and what is understandable is that German car maker has started preparing its replacement. The next generation X3 codenamed “G01” has been caught on camera several times, but this time it is wearing what seems to be final production body and the final lighting cluster. This can mean only one thing. We learned from previous experiences – official reveal is probably going to happen sometime in the beginning of 2017.
Although the spied vehicle is still wearing a hefty amount of camo, when you closely inspect its look you will see a lot of it familiar or even identical to what we can see on the currently available model. But what some of you won’t probably notice is the growth on the rear doors which means that the wheelbase has been stretched to offer more space at the back. I know what you are thinking right now, and no, the slight increase in size won’t impact X3’s weight. One of the reasons for that is the switch to the CLAR platform which brings some weight reduction, and by some, they mean it can go down up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds), which is slightly optimistic. But no matter how much weight it loses, any reduction of it will bring only good things all across especially in the fuel consumption and emissions areas, while on the other hand benefiting from the increase in performance and improved handling.
Engine department is unchanged, and the familiar assortment of the turbocharged four and six-cylinder units will most likely find their way under the X3’s hood. Since this is BMW we are talking about, we can most certainly expect to see some performance-oriented models in the form of M40i and M40d duo, as well as a range-topping X3 M. The M40i prototype is most likely the one in these pictures with the bigger exhaust tips and the blue brake calipers, while the M40d should look pretty much the same, with single thing different – a diesel engine powering it. The X3M will most likely get the full M treatment, unlike the previous generation which never fully benefited from the M badge, which is backed up by spy pictures of the high-powered flagship with more than 500 HP available and that is due sometime later in the vehicle’s life cycle.
There have also been some statements regarding the future of the BMW which say that the all-electric version of the X3 will join (by 2022) the company’s growing fleet which now also includes the new 530e. This third-gen X3 is BMW’s response to the Mercedes-Benz GLC, and it will allegedly enter production sometime in August of 2017 at the Spartanburg factory in the United States and go on sale shortly after that as a 2018 model year. There are some talks that it might even get assembled in South Africa at BMW’s Rosslyn factory in which German company invested over $420 million to get it ready for X3’s arrival.