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Meet VW's SA-bound baby SUV, the T-Cross

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Next X3: M-badged, 315kW, Xover on way

2015-03-13 10:07

THIRD-GEN X3 SPOTTED: Expect the third-generation X3 to be launched early in 2016 with M-badged variants to follow. Image: Automedia

BMW is readying its third-generation X3 SUV. Spy photographers captured images of the new crossover undergoing testing.

The new X3 will use a new modular design, which should improve interior space, sport upgraded engines and the latest BMW technology. A plug-in hybrid is also in the works.

The most exciting news however, is the announcement that the X5 M and X6 M will have a little sibling on the way.

NEW M-BADGED X3

BMW will add an M-Performance variant to its new X3 range, likely dubbed the X3M40i, with a three-litre inline-six capable of 253kW.

Automedia reports that new model could feature a true X3 M and it could borrow the twin-turbo from the M3/M4, capable of upwards of 315kW.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 BMW X3 (Spy)

Judging by the spy shots, the new X3 sports a more assertive body with a lower roofline. BMW will develop the X3 on a new, flexible modular system. It retains the one-piece powered boot of the outgoing model though will have auto opening and gestured-controlled closing.

Though it only has two rows of seats, the rear units can be adjusted. The roller-cover disappears when not in use in a recess in the boot. Its sunroof has a much larger opening, a split-vent position (front/rear) and a second deflector to protective against wind.

Expect a wide range of options including new adaptive LEDs and the latest BMW ConnectedDrive system.

PLUG-IN HYBRID

The plug-in hybrid will use a 70kw electric motor coupled with the 180kW four-cylinder. BMW hints at a 50km electric-only range.

The new BMW X3 is expected to be launched in 2016.

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