While the new BMW 5 Series will be the star in the BMW world in 2010, the second generation BMW X3 follows very closely. With the introduction of the new BMW X1, the X3 will move into BMW’s mid-size SAV and if our sources are correct, it will grow in size as well, close to the first generation X5.
The friends at Car and Driver managed to snap some new spy shots of a test mule which was tested in the Southwest. The new photos reveal the same sloping hood we’ve seen before and for the first time, aggressive font air intakes. The 2010 BMW X3 will have a roof line slightly lower than the current model and will follow the X5’s steps by getting more round corners and a sportier look.
With new competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLK and Audi Q5, BMW is looking to revitalize the current X3 by designing a more dynamic performance oriented activity vehicle with a sleeker design and more appealing to the bimmer fans.
The interior design will import many elements and materials from the BMW X1, an upgrade highly requested by many current BMW owners, including ourselves. While the current X3 is built in Austria by the independent manufacturer Magna Steyr, the 2010 BMW X3 joins the X5 and X6 family at the recently expanded BMW plant in Spartanburg. In a recent visit there, we had the opportunity to see the new paint shop that will handle the X3 production and by luck…we managed to see the X3’s frame going down the production line.
Two petrol engines will be offered, along with four diesel choices, but at this time, it is unknown which powerplants will be used. The “usual suspects” are considered, but BMW might have a few surprises for us as well.
While the X1 currently targets the European market, the new X3 will focus extensively on the U.S. market and the official unveiling will take place at the Detroit International Auto Show in January 2011.