The replacement for today’s electric BMW iX3 is taking quite a different design direction, but the replacement for the combustion-powered BMW X3 is staying the course.

    As is X3 tradition, the next-generation model – spied undergoing winter testing – is a subtle evolution stylistically over the outgoing model.

    The double-kidney grille doesn’t appear to have grown dramatically as it has on some recent BMW models, and is flanked by slim headlights with angular integrated LED daytime running lights as on the current car.

    While the prototype is wearing a lot of camouflage, it appears the sharp side creases of the current car have been softened a bit, but the beltline looks much the same with a pronounced uptick aft of the rear doors.

    Down back, the tail lights appear as large as ever, though the number plate sits further down on the tailgate and the rear window appears smaller.

    Inside, the next X3 is the latest BMW to get the brand’s BMW Curved Display, which sees the digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen situated in one assembly.

    The more traditional shifter design of the current X3 has been nixed in favour of a stubby new one, but the steering wheel appears to retain a mixture of scroll wheels and physical buttons.

    X3 prototypes have been spied testing since 2022, and BMW has previously confirmed production of the model – in plug-in hybrid guise – will begin at its Rosslyn, South Africa plant in 2024.

    Vehicles produced there will be exported to global markets.

    BimmerPost forum user ynguldyn, who claims to compile upcoming product information from leaks within BMW, reports the X3 will enter production in August.

    The new, fourth-generation X3 isn’t expected to spawn an electric iX3 variant as the outgoing model did, with a replacement electric SUV on the dedicated Neue Klasse architecture expected to replace it.

    However, a range of carryover petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains are reportedly set to continue.

    The redesigned X1 overtook the X3 as BMW’s best-selling model in Australia in 2023. The German brand sold 4002 X3s last year and 4644 X1s, which also saw the mid-sized Bimmer outsold by the Audi Q5 (4210 sales) and Lexus NX (6875 sales).

    MORE: Everything BMW X3
    MORE: Meet the rounder, sleeker electric SUV set to replace the BMW iX3

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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