New BMW X3 Looks Ready To Battle Audi Q5

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Here's your first look at the upcoming BMW X3 facelift.

The BMW iX3 debuted last month as an all-electric version of the popular BMW X3 with 285 miles of range and a design inspired by the iX3 concept unveiled in 2018. Don't think, however, that BMW is neglecting the combustion-powered X3.

Our spies have caught BMW testing a new X3 prototype previewing a facelift for the luxury compact SUV to help it compete with the upcoming updated versions of the Audi Q5 and Jaguar F-Pace. The X3 was BMW's best-selling model in the US last year, so the automaker will want to keep it looking as fresh as possible in the competitive compact SUV segment. The current-generation BMW X3 was also introduced in 2017, so the time seems right for a refresh.

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The front and rear of the BMW X3 prototype are covered in camouflage to disguise the design details, but the recently updated BMW 5 Series could give us an idea of what to expect. We anticipate that the updated X3 will sport a redesigned front bumper, a tweaked grille, and sleeker, slimmer headlights, although the new headlights haven't been fitted to the prototype at this stage of development. The kidney grille also looks slightly larger, but nowhere near as gigantic as the new BMW M3 and 4 Series' grilles. Similar changes will be applied to the back, including new rear lights and a rear bumper with minor changes.

Inside, the updated X3 is expected to gain a larger infotainment screen and our source also claims the area around the gear shifter will be redesigned. The shifter knob will also get a new look, and the iDrive system will be updated to the latest iDrive7 version.

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Engine options from the 2020 BMW X3 are likely to carry over, possibly with some minor power increases. The current BMW X3 is offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft in the base model and a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque in the M40i model.

BMW also offers an electrified X3 hybrid combining a 2.0-liter four-pot turbo and an electric motor producing a combined 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear or all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Expect the same styling changes to be applied to the more powerful X3 M. There's no word yet when the updated BMW X3 will debut, but its current stage of development suggests it won't be ready until sometime in 2021 and go on sale for the 2022 model year.

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