BMW is pushing forward with its testing process for the upcoming BMW X3 and a prototype has just been spotted in California. Based on the gas cover on the fender, it is likely that this prototype represents the gasoline version of the 2025 BMW X3, which BMW is building under the codename G45. The test mule showcased heavy camouflage and fake body panels, which continue to conceal the design details of the popular mid-size SUV.
G45 BMW X3 to be Offered on Two Platforms
These photos reveal the typical X3 design, characterized by a three-box approach with an upright, almost hatch-like rear-end. The side view also exposes a crease that runs above the flushed door handles and extends into the fairly wide rear fender. The roof maintains a similar shape to the outgoing model and features a very subtle spoiler on top. The absence of tailpipes suggests that this is likely the non-M Performance version, which there are rumors about, known as the BMW X3 M50i.
BMW will face an interesting scenario with the introduction of the new X3. The crossover will be offered on two distinct platforms. The combustion-powered and hybrid models will continue utilizing the flexible CLAR platform, while the all-electric iX3 will belong to the pioneering Neue Klasse models. With the codename NA5, the 2025-2026 BMW iX3, alongside a new i3 sedan, will provide an early glimpse into the Neue Klasse family. Although BMW has not officially confirmed the specific naming convention or model names, they have hinted at the future release of an electric sedan and crossover post-2025.
Neue Klasse Design Language to Debut on 2025-2026 BMW iX3
The details regarding the Neue Klasse design language are currently limited, but we can expect to catch a glimpse of it at the upcoming Munich Auto Show in September. Rumors suggest that the Neue Klasse battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will feature clean and minimalist design elements, complemented by a completely new interior. It will be interesting to see if any of these design cues will also make their way to the CLAR vehicles, such as the G45 BMW X3.
G45 BMW X3 to Feature Curved Dual-Screen Display, Latest iDrive 9 System
Recent G45 2025 BMW X3 spy photos have revealed some noteworthy details thus far, particularly its completely redesigned dashboard that incorporates a curved dual-screen display. This display is divided into two halves: one for the iDrive screen (which we’ll discuss shortly) and the other for the digital gauge cluster. It is expected that the digital gauge cluster will receive updates, considering the all-new nature of the iDrive screen in the G45.
When the G45 BMW X3 arrives, it’s likely to have BMW’s latest iDrive 9 system. We already broke down the differences between the upcoming iDrive 8.5 and iDrive 9. The latter will only be used on the newest of BMWs, starting with the 7 Series only for now. However, all new subsequent BMWs will also get the newest system. The 2025 BMW X3 will be able to use iDrive 9 because it will come with the latest Android-based head unit, rather than the old Linux one.
In addition to the new screen, the 2025 BMW X3 will bring a completely revamped center console design, incorporating BMW’s latest toggle switch shifter and featuring the same redesigned steering wheel as the 7 Series and X1. These updates are in line with the customary approach of introducing fresh design elements across BMW’s new lineup.
BMW X3 M50i to Replace X3 M40i
There will be plenty of gasoline offerings in the G45 X3 lineup, but the most exciting one will be the BMW X3 M50i. The new model replaces our favorite BMW SUV to date – the X3 M40i By upping the badge number, it’s likely that the X3 M50i will bring a bit more power compared to the outgoing model. The current X3 M40i is rated at 382 horsepower, but we already know that BMW is working on a new technical update (TU2) of the B58 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine.
BMW Rumored to be Developing iX3M Electric SUV
The 2025 BMW X3 will enter production in August 2024. As of now, there are no apparent plans for a full-fledged M variant of the X3. However, rumors suggest that BMW is actively developing an iX3M, which would be a fully-electric M SUV. While there is currently no specific release date available, considering that production of the standard X3 is expected to commence in August 2024, the arrival of an electric X3 M can be anticipated around 2026-2027.
[Photos by Christopher Cooper]