We’ve scooped the first interior photos of BMW’s next generation X3 mid-size SUV that’s due in the second-half of 2017.
Snapped out and about testing, our spies managed to get a clear view of the upper part of the dashboard revealing the newly designed instrument panel that combines analogue with digital gauges, much like what we’ve seen on the 2017 BMW 5-Series testers. At this point, we’re unsure if BMW will offer the display as standard on all models or only on upper level trims.
Another thing to hold on to is the free-standing infotainment system sitting atop the slightly angled towards the driver center console, as the current X3 and X4 are some of the last models in BMW’s range to incorporate a screen inside the dash.
As for the rest of the interior, even with the fabric cladding across the doors and lower dash to disguise the finer design details, it’s evident that the X3 will be a familiar place to be inside for BMW drivers, retaining the same layout with the audio and air-conditioning controls places under the central vents, and the iDrive controller resting on the right-side of the lower center console.
On the outside, it’s hard to say if this is a prototype of the new model – in which case, it would be a frown-worthy light evolution of today’s car, or a hybrid test mule made up from components of the current and next-gen X3.
Either way, underneath the sheet metal, the G01-codenamed 2018 X3 is earmarked to switch from the old 3-Series platform to BMW’s more advanced, stiffer and lighter modular CLAR (CLuster ARchitecture) used on the brand’s rear- and all-wheel drive models. It will ride on a slightly longer wheelbase than the current car’s 2,810mm (110.6 in) to improve rear passenger space, while maintaining its five-seat layout. The GO1’s new underpinnings will also allow it to use BMW’s next-gen electrical system providing all the latest safety, infotainment, connectivity and comfort gear.
The X3 will be driven by an updated range of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder direct-injection gasoline and common-rail diesel engines, paired to either 6-speed manual or a new 9-speed automatic from ZF, with some base models offered with sDrive rear-wheel drive and the rest with standard xDrive all-wheel drive. It will also adopt the plug-in hybrid technology from the 330e, 740e and X5 xDrive40 pairing a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine to an electric motor for a combined 248hp.
An M Performance version in the likes of the the X4 M40i with an output of over 350 horses from a 3.0-liter straight-six turbo gasoline unit is a given, while BMW may also add a diesel-powered M Performance model to compete with Audi’s Euro SQ5. Some insiders are also predicting the first appearance of a full-blown M version, but others say that no decision has been reached yet.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops