At the moment, one of the very best M cars the Bavarians build is the BMW X3 M. It sounds odd to call a crossover one of the M Division’s best products but there’s no denying the hilarious performance that comes from BMW M’s midsize crossover. The only real issue for the X3 M at the moment is that it’s starting to feel a bit dated, in terms of design and interior, as most of its competition is fresher and newer. That’s where the upcoming LCI refresh comes in and such a car has just been seen testing. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

In these new photos, we see the upcoming BMW X3 M LCI doing some winter testing alongside a few other M cars, including the X4 M LCI, BMW M4 Convertible and the standard M4 Coupe. Since the aforementioned X4 M LCI will be getting essentially the same changes as the X3 M, we’ll only only discuss the one.

Up front, much larger grilles replace the old car’s rather normal looking grilles. While we still bemoan the ever-increasing size of BMW’s grilles, at least these aren’t the beaver teeth of the 4 Series and M4. In fact, they seem to end just above the number plate, so they’re not that large, compared to some other modern Bimmers.

Headlights are new as well, with a slimmer, sleeker design than before. They also just about connect with the grilles, on either side, so they’re a bit larger than before. They’re similar to the lights found on the current 4 Series, which is no bad thing as those are nice looking headlights. There seem to be new taillights as well but the camouflage in these photos obscures any new design details that might exist.

Mainly, though, the updates we want to see are inside. The BMW X3 M isn’t an old car but BMW’s cabin tech has moved on quite a bit since its release. For instance, the new LCI car will get the brand’s new digital dials (for better or worse), its latest iDrive infotainment screen and, this last bit might seem trivial but it’s important, a new shift lever. Speaking of the latter, the current X3 M’s shift lever looks like someone cut off a Transformer’s foot and glued it to the console. The newer M Division lever, with its stitched leather and metal, is far better.

The BMW X3 M LCI is going to a great car. Its powertrain and capabilities are still impressive, even a couple of years after its release, and the only thing it really needed to keep up with its competition was a bit of a design update. Overall, it was already a great looking car, so a few little tweaks to the front and to the interior should put it right back at the top of the pile. Oh, and some softer suspension, please.

[Source: Car Scoops]