BMW’s naming conventions have placed them in an interesting pickle. While the fourth generation of the BMW X3 is on the way, it shares nothing with the similarly named BMW iX3. These are both further unrelated to the current-gen iX3 (G08) released in limited markets. Confused yet? Not surprising. Unlike the i4, i7, and i5 – which are essentially electrified versions of the cars they share a Series name with – the iX3 will be its own beast. So, essentially, you have two completely unrelated vehicles with…well, let’s call it a “similar” naming convention. So, what’s the difference?

What is the iX3?

BMW iX3 Prototype in testing

The iX3 is part of the Neue Klasse lineup. It begins production in Hungary in 2025 and will be built on the Neue Klasse SUV platform. It will probably closely resemble the Vision Neue Klasse X that BMW revealed in March ’24. While we don’t know about specific trim levels or the different models that might drop, we’re pretty sure there’s an iX3M (ZA5) on the way. We know there won’t be any gas-powered versions of the BMW iX3. Inside, it’ll feature all the next-gen tech that BMW has planned for the rest of the Neue Klasse cars. That means innovative features like the Panoramic Display, a single central display, and no more iDrive controller – or even a traditional gauge cluster.

What is the G45 X3?

G45 BMW X3 Prototype

The G45 X3 is the fourth generation of the BMW X3. It’ll feature gas-powered and hybrid models and is based on the CLAR (cluster architecture) platform. It will have completely unique styling from the iX3, and we’re not sure what it will look like quite yet. We expect it to be a natural evolution of the current body style rather than anything radical. Inside, we’ll see familiar (but technically new to the X3) iDrive 9 software and the curved display we see on other modern BMW products. We won’t likely see a gas-powered X3 M unfortunately, but we do expect an M Performance variant dubbed the X3 M50. There’s no full EV version of the new CLAR-based G45 X3, either – that spot is reserved for the iX3. Which, as you may have just read, is based on a completely different architecture.

What’s in a Name: Difference Between iX3 and G45 X3

Hopefully, you will know the differences between the “two” X3 models that are coming in the near(ish) future. More questions? Ask in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to answer.