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BMW releases new X3 spy shots


In a somewhat unconventional move, BMW has published a number of spy images of the third generation X3 undergoing winter testing in Sweden.

Although still sporting sufficient layers of camouflage, the newcomer draws parallels with the X1 and X5 when viewed from the rear, while the front end boasts staying straits from the 7-series (grille) and the recently launched 5-series (lights).

According to British daily Auto Express, the X3 will ride on a brand new lightweight rear-wheel drive platform used by the 5-series Touring, resulting in a 100 kg weight reduction versus the current generation F25, although the availability of a plug-in hybrid model could see it tip the scales at close to two-tons.

No interior images were released but expect it to mirror that of the 5 and 7-series with the same layout and range of safety and comfort features.

Underneath the bonnet, the X3 will offer a range of four-and-six cylinder turbopetrol and turbodiesel engines with the possibility of a three-cylinder in the former, while a M version using the M3's 317 kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six could be offered for the first time. Transmissions will consist of a six-speed manual or the ZF-sourced eight-sped Steptronic.

While no official reveal details were announced, expect the X3 to debut at the end of the this year or at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.

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