First upcoming BMW X3 spy shots show Mercedes GLC rival

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BMW is preparing the future generation of the X3 mid-size SUV, which will be launched in 2016 and will be offered for the first time as a M Performance model and also in an M version.

 BMW X3 has always been a popular all-rounder for everyday life. Combining versatility, efficiency, luxury and BMW driving dynamics, it’s no wonder that it sells so well.

Just refreshed for the 2015 model year, the model enjoys subtle styling upgrades to mimic the freshest BMW designs. Also, a new four-cylinder diesel joins the lineup. A completely new model is expected for the autumn of 2016. This redesign will entail upgraded power, a new modular design which should improve interior space and comfort, and the latest BMW technology. A plug-in hybrid is even in the works. The most exciting news, however, is the announcement that the X5 M and X6 M have a little brother on the way.

While the current 2015 BMW X3 easily meets most peoples’ needs, expect the new generation to go above and beyond. BMW wants to make sure that they cover all possible niches with the redesign, so in addition to the current, versatile model line-up now, look for an M-Performance model likely dubbed the X3 M40i, with a 3.0-litre inline six cylinder, producing upwards of 340 horsepower.

But this is not the end. A real M version of the BMW X3 is in the pipeline with S55 6 inline bi-turbo engine ready for around 450 HP, which means a 19 HP plus, compared to the current M3/M4.

Another exciting addition to the X3 lineup will be a plug-in hybrid model. The propulsion system will be borrowed from the new X5 Plug-In Hybrid: the 245 HP 2 liter turbo engine will be mated with a 113 HP electric engine with a total power of around 313 HP. BMW is promising a 50 km electric range, which is more than enough for the daily use.

The BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid is part of a huge Plug-In Hybrid offensive, which includes the new X5 Plug-In Hybrid, 3 Series facelift Plug-In Hybrid and the new 7 Serie Plug-In Hybrid.

Photo: Automedia