Alongside the all-electric Bmw iX3, the upcoming X3 will be based on a separate platform and feature hybridized ICE powertrains.
BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse platform is set to transform the brand’s electric vehicle lineup in the mid-2020s. However, not every model will transition to this new platform. Similar to Porsche’s approach with the Macan, BMW plans to have two distinct X3 models starting from 2025. The electric iX3 is anticipated to be built on the Neue Klasse platform, while the combustion (though, essentially hybrid) variants, like the new X3 M50i showcased above, will continue using an updated iteration of the current CLAR architecture.
This upcoming revision of the X3 won’t be a mere facelift for the current six-year-old model. BMW intends to extend the wheelbase, ensuring that potential buyers recognize the added value of investing in the midsize SUV rather than opting for the newly enlarged X1. In terms of design, however, the X1 and X3 will share many similarities, such as flush door handles, an upward-sloping window line extending beyond the C-pillar, a hood that smoothly wraps over the top of the front fenders, and larger, square-shaped kidney grilles.
While it may seem like these similarities could make the two vehicles nearly indistinguishable, these images suggest there will be at least one significant distinguishing feature. On the X1, the daytime running lights (DRLs) take on a two-letter ‘r’ shape, whereas the spy shots hint at the X3’s DRLs curving below the primary LED light unit, rather than above it. Additionally, the X3’s Y-shaped rear lights will be far more distinctive compared to the X1’s.
Our spy photographers successfully captured both the X3 M Performance version of the SUV (as shown above), likely to be named M50i, and we hope it retains a six-cylinder drivetrain. They also managed to photograph a non-M variant undergoing high-speed testing at the Nurburgring. All these versions are anticipated to receive either mild-hybrid or PHEV powertrains. Although the interior isn’t visible in these images, we can confirm from prior sightings that the 2025 model will include BMW’s one-piece dashboard display and a streamlined console-mounted gearshift toggle.