One of the most important upcoming cars from BMW is the next-generation X3, for a couple of reasons. The first is that the X3 is one of BMW’s best-selling vehicles and, in some markets, it is the best-selling vehicle. The other reason is that the next-gen X3 will come in two flavors: internal combustion and electric. The one seen in this new video is the former, which means it’s based on the latest generation of the flexible CLAR architecture. (h/t to Motor1 for finding the video)

In this new spy video, you see a heavily camouflaged BMW X3 driving around in Munich. The clip is short, so you don’t get to see if for very long but you do get to see the front, side, and back of it, so pausing the video at certain points can give you a good look at it. While the camo doesn’t seem to have many, if any at all, fake panels, it’s entirely covered in camouflage.

Up front, you can see its new headlights and grille. The headlights are fairly predictable and look similar to what we’ve seen from the upcoming 5 Series in spy photos and official teasers. Thankfully, the grille looks very traditional and is perfectly reasonable in size. BMW said it wants to give most models normal grilles, while keeping its outlandish designs for its expensive, more opulent models, such as the 7 Series and XM.

Photo by

Overall, the shape of the new BMW X3 seems pretty normal, too. It just looks like an X3, for better or worse. Some customers might bemoan its lack of dramatic restyling, as they may have been hoping for something new and bold. However, many customers—likely existing X3 customers—will appreciate the familiar but updated design.

You can tell this is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model a couple of ways. One is its lack of exhausts pipes and I guess BMW is going in that direction across the board with its hybrids, as all upcoming hybrids lack exhausts. It’s disappointing, as BMW has been one of the last bastions of real exhausts, but it was inevitable. The other way you can tell it’s a hybrid is that it has an “Electrified Vehicle” sticker on it. Since it isn’t a pure EV (it looks like it has a muffler and functional grilles), it must be a hybrid.

When this new BMW X3 debuts, it’s going to be an important pillar of BMW’s foundation for the future. Not only is the standard X3 a huge seller but it could help transition traditional customers over to electrification, as BMW will offer an electric model alongside of it.