Listen to this article

There’s not a single day passing by without BMW having something new under development. The Bavarian company currently has a number of new products in the works and one of these vehicles is the next-generation X3. It’s been on the road for pre-production tests since the summer of this year and the test pilots and engineers are now at the Nurburgring for a high-speed test session onboard the new SUV.

Obviously, this is still an early prototype of the high-riding model as it features provisional headlights and taillights. The shape of the clusters at the front is not final and we expect to see sharper units with standard LED technology and optional LED matrix or laser lights. The amount of camouflage on this trial vehicle is very high and it’s difficult to tell what the design of the front end will be, though we have the feeling there will be influences coming from the XM performance SUV.

Gallery: Next-gen BMW X3 new spy photos

Riding on large Continental tires, this disguised X3 looks surprisingly composed on the Nurburgring with minimal body roll. These distant shots suggest the luxury crossover will grow in size, but the photos make it difficult to determine how much larger it will be. We don’t expect the change in dimensions to be significant as that would put the X3 closer to X5 territory creating potential cannibalism within the company’s lineup.

We know, however, that the new X3 will continue with a wide range of engine options, which will include gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models. Given the X3’s expected market launch around the end of next year, it could become one of BMW’s final Euro 6-compliant models to be released on the market. The stricter Euro 7 emissions standard on the European continent is expected to come into effect in the middle of the decade.

Some of the spy photos above provide a very early glimpse of the interior, though the dashboard is covered with camouflage. We can still see a large screen behind the steering wheel, which suggests the new X3 will get the same dual-screen setup as most of BMW’s recent models. The firm’s iDrive 8 infotainment software could be considered a given at this point.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com