Here's what you can expect from BMW's best seller.
BMW's best-selling product in the US, the X3, just received a facelift for the 2022 model year along with its sibling, the X4. Despite only being one year into its latest update and getting no changes for 2023, our spy photographers already spotted a camouflaged X3 prototype gearing up for its next major milestone. The disguised BMW X3 pictured here is likely the 2024 or 2025 model, which will act as the model's fourth generation. BMW released the third-generation X3 back in 2017, so the timing seems right for an all-new model, and our first spy shots of the new model suggest a new direction in design.
Judging by the round quad exhaust tips and other exterior elements, these test mules could be prototypes for the next-generation X3 M (BMW has gone on record saying that M Performance models will get squared quad tips). That said, there appear to be no other M-specific design touches, but that could be because this is a very early test car. Another possibility is that BMW will change its future full-fat M cars' exhausts with its next evolution in design.
BMW currently calls the M Performance model the X3 M40i, but this nomenclature could change. The current M40i gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system producing 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.
It's unclear if BMW will stray away from the inline-six in the new X3, as rivals like Mercedes-AMG downsize to smaller four-cylinder powertrains with hybrid assistance. BMW is rumored to be building engines with more lightweight materials, improving fuel economy and lowering carbon emissions. These are only the first spy shots we've seen of the next-gen X3, but we suspect to see some electrified models ranging from plug-in hybrids up to full electrics soon.
In terms of styling, the new X3 looks like it will get larger kidney grilles, but not like the current 4 Series. Instead of extending vertically, the X3's nostrils will become squared, possibly making them look less controversial. Most notably, the lower grille is now split down the middle, suggesting that a new direction is being taken from 2025. All of the light housings on these prototypes are provisional, meaning they are subject to change before production, but we can be certain that the headlights will be similar to those of the recently revealed 2023 X1. As a mid-range product, this will definitely not be getting the split headlight design of ultra-luxurious vehicles like the X7 and 7 Series.
We expect to see more spy shots in the coming months, but a full reveal is likely a few years away.