2024 is shaping up to be a busy year for BMW in terms of product launches. One of the most important novelties will be the fourth-generation X3. Internally codenamed “G45,” the new luxury crossover is expected to enter production in August. If the timeline mentioned by insiders is accurate, the world premiere should take place in the first half of the year.
M Lite Models Getting Quad Pipes
Meanwhile, prototypes are being photographed while undergoing final testing. This next-gen X3 spotted in the United States is an M Performance model judging by the quad exhaust tips. With the launch of the X1 M35i and X2 M35i, BMW is switching to a more aggressive exhaust setup for its “M Lite” models. The X3 M40i replacement is up next as the German luxury brand wants to narrow the gap until the full-fat M models.
It might go by another name since we’re hearing BMW will transition the X3 M40i xDrive to the X3 M50 xDrive designation. Yes, without the “i” because a decision has allegedly been taken to drop the letter from gasoline cars. The diesels will purportedly keep the “d” and the plug-in hybrids are sticking with “e.” At least two other models will lose the “i” in 2024 when the gasoline variants of the next-gen 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe are set to eschew the letter.
New Top Model – BMW X3 M50
The not-quite X3 M is believed to keep six-cylinder power despite the automotive industry’s shift to downsized engines to meet stringent emissions regulations. The change from M40 to M50 might suggest a power bumper but that’s not necessarily the case since the X5/X6/X7 M50i are now called M60i and don’t have an extra punch from the combustion engine. Perhaps this change has to do with the adoption of a mild-hybrid setup considering those two larger M Performance SUVs now have 48V tech.
Numerous spy shots – including this one – have strongly hinted at an evolutionary design without any eccentric details such as an oversized kidney grille or split headlights. However, the interior will be subjected to major changes by adopting the latest iDrive with a pair of screens. You’ll be accessing most functions from the touchscreen since BMW is removing most of the traditional buttons.
The gasoline, diesel, and plug-in hybrid X3 variants won’t be joined by a fully electric iX3 on the same CLAR platform. That’s because BMW is planning a follow-up to today’s iX3 on the highly anticipated Neue Klasse dedicated platform with sixth-generation battery packs featuring round cells. We’ve heard through the grapevine the next-gen iX3 will enter production in July 2025.
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