2018 BMW X3 Driven like It Were a Rental on the Nurburgring

With the Mercedes-Benz GLC turning out to be a big success, BMW needs to make a move as quickly as possible in the very lucrative segment of the compact SUVs, and the 2018 X3 is going to be it.
2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring 8 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring2018 BMW X3 on the 'Ring
The X5's smaller brother has been spotted testing quite a few times so far, but even though it's getting really close to its launch date, it refuses to show us anything on that body hiding under the camouflage. From day one until today, all BMW X3 test cars have been wearing their camouflage overalls without mistake, meaning all we can gauge is the car's size and its general shape.

Which, to be honest, isn't that much since we don't expect anything surprising to happen here. The X3 is going to continue its growing process that will move it away from the now larger X1, while at the same time maintaining a safe distance from the X5.

SUVs used to be quite different from each other, with plenty of elements differentiating the various classes. That looks to be over now, and while nobody will ever mistake the X1 for the X5, it does seem like we're going to have a lot identity-providing visual elements. The X3 is going to fall in line, and while that means borrowing a very nice design, it also points toward a loss of personality.

But a BMW's character resides more in the way it drives than the way it looks, and seeing the X3 blast on the Nurburgring makes us confident that trademark BMW sportiness is going to be there still. It definitely doesn't look as fast, and as aggressively driven as the X3 M we've seen a few months back, but that isn't to say it's slow.

Not too shabby for an SUV

There's plenty of body roll and tire screeching, but for a non-performance SUV, the X3 appears to hold its own quite well on a race track. Considering most people who buy this car is those who would like an X5 but either can't afford it or they feel like it would be too large for their urban lifestyle, it's Nurburgring performance is going to be quite irrelevant.

They'll be much happier to know the X3 offers increased interior space, which was actually quite needed as the previous model did not excel in that department. A host of engines will also be available, mostly four-cylinder and inline-sixes, both turbocharged with either gasoline or diesel sprayed into their cylinders. Transmission-wise, expect the usual seven- or eight-speed automatics.

The new X3 will also receive an M version which is believed to develop around 500 hp - similar to the M4 GTS coupe. Coupled with the xDrive four-wheel-drive system, that should translate into an impressive 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint, and a stiffer suspension setup should also eliminate some of the body roll we can see in this video.

Production should begin next year, but it's yet unclear whether BMW will introduce the new X3 by the end of this year - which is rapidly closing - or opt for a launch in early 2017 either at the North American International Auto Show in January or the Geneva International Motor Show in Mach.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories