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2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg Plant with Less Camouflage, Shows Mature Design

We've shown you the next-generation BMW X3 testing on tons of occasions, but the time has come for the prototypes to finally get rid of the cladding that doesn't even allow us to guess the styling details.
2018 BMW X3 Spied 16 photos
2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory2018 BMW X3 Spied at Spartanburg factory
Sure, the psychedelic wrap is still present in these spy photos, but the images, which have been snapped at BMW's Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, mean that we can now check out the mature styling of the crossover.

Not only does the third-generation X3 seem larger than the original X5, but, thanks to the chiseled design details that seem to hide beneath the wrap, the high-riding Bimmer now has an overly strong premium aura.

Don't let the hefty brakes, with their covered branding, and the sporty exhaust tips trick you into believing this is the X3 M, though - we recently showed you the Motorsport Division-massaged X3 lapping the Nurburgring and that prototype comes with even larger brakes and a quadruple exhaust tip layout, for instance.

Instead, we're probably dealing with the "warm" M Performance model, namely the X3 M40i. And while this will also get a turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six such as the all-out M version, expect a high 3xx horsepower figure rather than the 500 ponies estimated for the latter model.

The rumor mill also taks about an X3 M40d using a slightly downtuned version of the new quad-turbo 3.0-liter diesel.

Regardless of its powerplant, the upcoming G01 X3 will ride on BMW's CLAR architecture, which will be shared with the 2018 3 Series (here's the latest spy video of the upcoming 3er). The new platform will allow the X3 to go on a diet of up to 220 lbs (100 kg) compared to the current model, which will bring benefits in terms of both handling and fuel efficiency.

Speaking of the handling, the current X3, along with the X4, have moved on from the rear-biased xDrive AWD of the first-generation X3, using a torque distribution setup that shows almost no oversteer at all, even in 35i trim.

Here's to hoping the German automaker won't leave things this way, at least for the performance models mentioned above - we'll get to find out more on this topic once the 2018 X3 makes its debut next year.

 
 
 
 
 

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