The next X3 looks just a bit mean, doesn't it?
Earlier in the year we caught what we assumed (and still do assume) was the new BMW X3 M out testing. Now our spy photographers have brought us more images of the new entry-level X3 out in the open, albeit covered in camouflage. BMW's new SUV will be new in many ways, starting with its platform. It will sit on the automaker's new CLAR (cluster architecture) platform. This new architecture mixes high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber to cut poundage. The new X3 is anticipated to drop up to 220 pounds thanks to CLAR.
In addition to weighing less the next X3 will also offer two eco-friendly options: a plug-in hybrid and EV. The latter is still a rumor but it makes sense for BMW to take the fight to Tesla (and Mercedes-Benz) by fully electrifying the next X3. In terms of looks the new SUV appears to be more muscular and less curvaceous, especially at the rear where the taillights jut out instead of melting into the bodywork like on the current model. The camo has been draped on pretty thick but it's clear that the next-gen will sport a harder disposition than what is currently on offer. It's not quite as aggressive looking as the X3 M but if the entry-level model looks as good as we think then it should help BMW score some more sales from rival Audi and Mercedes.
According to Good Car Bad Car, which used sales data through September 2016, the BMW X3 is trailing both the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC-Class in total sales this year; it's losing both races by less than 6,000 sales. That being said the BMW we know has never been content with taking third place. A leaner and meaner X3 should help vault them back to No. 1. We'll be looking for this new SUV to make its debut sometime next year, with the 2017 Geneva Motor Show looking like its likely landing spot, should BMW decide to drop it at an auto show.