The next BMW X3 will take inspiration from its little brother when it launches.

    New spy photos of the X3 reveal its front end will borrow heavily from the look of the recently-revealed X1.

    Based on traditional BMW product cycles, the new X3 isn’t expected to launch until 2024 or 2025.

    The next X3’s design, from what we can see elsewhere on this prototype, is an evolution of that of the current car, with essentially the same silhouette and similar details like the way the belt line bends upward at the rear doors.

    BMW has been careful not to shake up the popular X3’s design formula too much over the years, with these elements remaining largely the same across all three generations.

    There appear to be holes below the grille, which suggests the grille will drop down a little lower than that of the current car.

    It doesn’t, however, appear to indicate the X3 will follow the 4 SeriesM3 and M4, which have moved to a plunging, double-coffin grille.

    We expect the X3 will continue to offer a wide variety of powertrains like the current car. This particular mule wears an Electrified Vehicle sticker, and features both exhaust pipes and a charge port, pointing to its PHEV powertrain.

    The current X3 can be had with a choice of turbocharged four- or six-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, including the hot twin-turbo inline six found in the X3 M, plus a plug-in hybrid and an electric version (the iX3).

    It also has a close relation in the X4, a sleeker coupe SUV variant of the popular X3. BMW is expected to follow the same template with the next-generation car.

    The next X3 and X4 will square off against the recently revealed, second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC. A new Audi Q5 has also been spied, and could be revealed in 2023, while Volvo is expected to replace its XC60 in 2024.

    MORE: Everything BMW X3

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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