We’re currently in South Carolina at BMW’s Spartanburg Plant for the launch of the third-generation BMW X3. However, at the largest BMW manufacturing plant in the world, there’s far more to see than just the new X3. This is the birthplace of BMW’s X-model cars, as the brand’s first ever SUV, the E53-generation BMW X5. Thankfully, BMW is aware of the history at the Spartanburg Plant and has some of the those classic X models lying around.

Maybe it’s just being in Spartanburg and being surrounded by the brand’s history but it seems as if age has been kind to the original X5. It’s still such a handsome car and one that still looks premium, muscular and elegant. Though, we could just be smitten by the day. What’s also interesting is how similar it looks to the new, current-gen X5. The current BMW X5 is still very competitive in its segment, in terms of both design and performance, despite there being quite a few new competitors. It’s still a great looking car and you can see its familial roots in the original X5.

In Spartanburg, we didn’t just see old X5s, though. We saw the actual manufacturing facility and all of the great people there building what seems like endless SUVs. This plant supplies the world with BMW X models (save for the X1, as it’s built on a different chassis). It’s a very impressive facility and one that is pretty amazing to see.

Obviously, though, the big star of the day was the brand-new BMW X3, which looks even better in person than it does in the photos. We were able to get up close with the new X3, get some photos and live video and we’re really impressed with how it turned out. The proportions are just right, the cabin is far more upscale than before and it all adds up to make it the best looking X3 yet. We’d even go as far as to say it’s one of BMW’s best looking SUVs of all time.

The new BMW X3 is built on the brand’s new scalable architecture and features new engines, new suspension and a ton of new technology. It should be the best driving X3 to date, which is actually saying a lot because the first-gen X3 was quite a lot of fun to drive. But this one features some properly sporty kit, even some rugged capability and a more premium feel than ever before.

And Spartanburg is where it’s born.