Scoop: Next BMW X3 Grows But Sheds Weight

BMW is developing a replacement for its popular X3 compact luxury crossover that will be marginally bigger than today’s car, but at the same time, up to 100kg or 220 pounds lighter.

Like the first prototype of the 2018 BMW X3 that we spied last month, the one pictured here that was nabbed in Sweden, is also believed to be a test mule, dressing its new and lighter CLAR scalable architecture with a modified shell from the current X3.

As such, there’s not much we can comment about its exterior other than the longer rear doors that point to an increase in wheelbase length over the 2,810mm (110.6 inches) of its predecessor, though, it’s overall appearance should resemble that of a smaller X5.

On the technology front, the next X3 will adopt a new generation electrical system that will allow BMW to offer all of its latest safety, infotainment and comfort gear.

Unless the Bavarian firm’s plans change drastically by the time it unveils the next X3 during the course of 2017, as a 2018 model in North America, the luxury SUV’s lineup will include a range of updated 2.0-liter four-cylinder and new 3.0-liter straight-six diesel and gasoline units. The four-pots will be offered with a choice of 6-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions (at least in Europe), while the straight-six engines will be paired exclusively to the automatic gearbox.

While some engines will be available with rear-wheel drive wearing the ‘sDrive’ moniker, most models in the lineup will come with BMW’s latest xDrive all-wheel drive system as standard.

Two new arrivals in the range will be the M Performance-branded X3 M40i xDrive, likely featuring the same 355hp (360PS) 3.0-liter straight-six turbo as the X4 M40i that will be officially introduced in Detroit next month, and a Plug-in Hybrid variant pairing a 2.0L four-cylinder gasoline unit to an electric motor with over 240hp. BMW may also introduce a diesel-powered M Performance variant for Europe, while an X3M version sporting the M3’s 425-horsepower 3.0L has been discussed as well to rival Porsche’s Macan and possibly, Audi’s RSQ5.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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