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Next-generation BMW X3 – First official details go public

BMW has started teasing the next-generation X3 which will be produced right here in South Africa at the automaker’s Rosslyn, Gauteng plant.

The popular SUV is undergoing its final tuning of chassis control and driver assistance systems before its global presentation which is scheduled to take place “in a few weeks’ time,” said BMW.

The new X3 will be available with a range of “highly efficient” petrol and diesel engines alongside an “advanced” plug-in hybrid model.

Through extensive testing and refinement in all weather conditions, urban stop-and-go traffic, winding country roads, highways, and selected race tracks, the SUV’s engineers could “ensure that all model variants of the new BMW X3, regardless of drive concept and weight, demonstrate superior handling in every situation.”

The next-gen X3 is currently being put through its paces at the BMW Group test centre in Miramas, France to apply the finishing touches before it is shipped to customers worldwide.

Everything we know

The next-gen X3 benefits from a new aerodynamically-optimised exterior design incorporating a wider track, which reduces lift on the rear axle and brings down the drag coefficient to a segment-leading 0.27Cd.

Body rigidity has also improved and the chassis connection strengthened through the use of “intelligent” lightweight materials.

Targeted upgrades to both axles see the caster of the front wheels increased by 19%, thus achieving noticeably better directional stability in comparison to the outgoing X3; and the vehicle comes standard with the Lateral Dynamics Management system that continuously adapts the steering feedback, wheel slip limitation, and yaw torque distribution to the situation at hand.

“The more direct steering ratio enhances steering comfort, while extensively modified anti-roll bars improve cornering dynamics without compromising ride comfort,” said BMW.

As an option, the new-generation SUV will also be available with an Adaptive Chassis featuring electronically-controlled shock absorbers, which provides two performance maps via the My Modes drive mode program.

Still being wrapped in extensive camouflage there are few next-generation design cues currently visible in the photos provided.

From what we can see, the upcoming X3 will have a new LED lighting signature, a kidney grille with horizontal instead of vertical slates, a squared-off front bumper, redesigned front air intakes, and fewer bonnet lines.

At the rear, it doesn’t seem like the LED tail lights will be changing too much from their current look, though there are a few noteworthy alterations.

The latter includes a new tailgate which sees the number plate relocated to the bumper, a flatter shark fin antenna, and lower reflector placement.

The door handles are also more flush with the bodywork and the side sills look less pronounced.

As always, expect a large assortment of alloy wheel options to be on offer, with this pre-production model wearing 20-inch shoes.

The cabin of the next-gen X3 has been visibly overhauled to be more in line with BMW’s new interior design language first seen in the iX back in 2021.

Upgrades encompass a new continuous display on the dash that houses both the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system, running on the manufacturer’s latest iDrive 8.5 operating system.

There is also a new flat-bottom steering wheel, restyled ambient lighting elements, and a redesigned centre console which swops out a gear lever for a gear switch.

Interior of the new BMW 3 Series, the sedan sibling to the X3

Hence, we anticipate that the fresh-faced X3’s cabin will resemble that of its sedan sibling, the updated 3 Series which debuted in early 2023.

BMW has confirmed that an assortment of refined driver assistance technologies will accompany the new X3, highlights thereof including active lane-change assist and the parking and manoeuvre assistant which allows the driver to control manoeuvres from outside the vehicle using a smartphone.

It is expected that BMW will take the wraps off its new mid-size SUV no later than June as production is scheduled to kick off between July and August.

Next-generation BMW X3 Prototype

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