Spy Shots: 2011 BMW X3

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New spy shots of the latest 2011 BMW X3 prototype testing in Germany indicate the automaker may be moving the crossover's development forward to match the competition. Previous reports had indicated that the current BMW X3 would have to soldier on for a few more years until an all-new model could replace it. However, with the release of the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW may be worried about losing its leadership position. The latest images offer our clearest view yet of what BMW plans for the new crossover.

The latest spy images show a car with completely finished headlights and tail lights, slightly expanded dimensions for added interior space and more X5-like styling.

In addition to the revamped exterior, a full array of gadgets and features are expected to be available for the X3 to help keep its edge against Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It’s even possible that BMW could make the night-vision heads-up display currently found in the X6 and other models available on the X3, though it would be a tough sell at the X3's price point. Bi-xenon headlights with around-corner capability and new seats that feature massage functions and ventilation are also expected for the new model.

Powertrain options, which will include a diesel and a pair of gasoline engines, are likely to remain the same for the rest of the world. The U.S. may have to continue to make do with only one engine option: BMW's new N55 single-turbo 3.0-liter straight six, rated at 300 horsepower. A new hybrid model is also tipped to be on the table, though specifications are still forthcoming. BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system will also transfer to the new model.

The new X3 is expected to appear in showrooms towards the end of the year as a 2011 model, joining the smaller X1 crossover, which you can read about by clicking here, along with the rest of BMW's updated 2011 lineup.

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Comments (37)
  1. wow that is ugy

  2. It says in the article this car will face stiff competition from the audi q5, the audi is going to kill the X3, why dont they style it more like the X5 so it doesnt look so ugly.

  3. Ummmm... since Audi has not built a vehicle in this segment yet and BMW invented the premium small SUV. I don't know how you could come up with such a bold statement.

    BMW consistanly owns Audi in the performance and drivability aspect, I just have to disagree.

    Plus look around those X3s are everywhere despite being ugly.

  4. That is just 2 categories performance and driveabiliy, audi owns bmw with interior, and of late in styling, CLEARLY with this prototype. Ive ownded bmw and audis and both are great. But I agree with bradley the new audi is going to beat the x3 when they are both released guaranteed. Look at the styling it is almost like night and day audi's Q5 is way better.

  5. Im a bmw fanatic, but the X3 is an eye sore for BMW, and by these prototypes it isnt improving. The Q5 looks like a greatly styled vehicle in this segment. Im not sure about the glk it looks weird

  6. notch one up for the Audi Q5 after seeing these prototypes...
    The X3 is dog aweful, and the funniest thing is, when you spec the X3 to a level that befits a BMW you are already into the X5 range in price with comparable trims...i know which one i would prefer !

  7. Well, there is no Audi that will have that amazing 3.0 ltr twin turbo motor.

    Performance and drivability may only be two factors, but they are big factors. Audi has great interiors, I've owned one.

    BMW just gets the little nuances that great driving cars have. The steering feel, the brake feel, the balance.....don't forget the balance. BMWs are always the best balanced, Audis are always a little front heavy.

    Besides....no one knows what the styling will be, this is just a chassis tester with a 3 wagon on it.

    Go ahead an buy your Audis, that's why we have choices.

  8. That is not what the X3 igonna look like. The X3 bodywork isnt even on that car. If you look they have used the 5 series estate as the body for it. dumbasses. the X3 engine and all that crap are underneath it,

  9. Sonic is right, this is just a mule (though the external panels come from the 3 Series Touring).

    The first-gen X3 and X5 were terribly ugly. The X5's only fault regarding design is its size. So BMW just has to shink the X5, add some details fom the CS and reduce its weight. Since they have a little more experience with off-roaders then Audi, BMW must take the chance of producing the perfect D-segment performance off-roader.

  10. Man those rims/wheels are hot on the silver one, i hope those come standard.

  11. LOL the Q5 is going to own this hands down.

  12. The first gen X5 was actually a sharp ute.

  13. This is a rendering do not pass judgment till the actual vehicle is shown.

  14. that`s an X1, idiots!! Only the X1 will get this crossover-shape!!

  15. Or the X3 is getting smaller like the Cayenne

  16. The GLK is going to rock this segment- it's got the X3 and Q5 beat with its S-class like fit and finish and "curb appeal."

  17. Other then the really ugly headlight design and front end

  18. i like it

  19. I think the current looks better and they should of just given it a facelift.

  20. i'm curious, why are you guys saying this is ugly if we can't even see it? the picture underneath the spy shots of that silver bmw is a render - a computer generated image not released by bmw that has been created by someone else. the finished car very well might look very different than that. at this early stage and with all that camo who are you all to say that this is an ugly car?

  21. I meant the GLK was ugly, I will reserve judgement for this when it is shown.

  22. oh, and you're right: the glk is ugly

  23. Guys Guys how you all doing just wanted to say hi and What about the Land Rover LR2 that is a great vehicle extemely well equipped compare to the X3 just want to know what you guys think

  24. Size difference compared to X1 will be minimal, plus they could just fit a bigger engine to X1 to save costs... there really is no point with this.

  25. if i wanted a small compact 4wd id just get a q5... simple as that lol. the x3 and x1 are ugly and i agree with gazzed there is no point to having these two cars on the line up !

  26. The problem with Audi is that you can be absolutly sure that it will breack down as soon as the warranty ends. Plus you dont get the BMW handling and quality..

  27. X3 did not invent that market the landrover freelander in europe did and in north america it was the rx350 for lexus

  28. Size difference compared to X1 will be minimal, plus they could just fit a bigger engine to X1 to save costs... there really is no point with this.

    The idea is to gear the X1 to Europe and gear the X3 to America

  29. Do anybody know when will the X3 be available?

  30. Will this mean we will finally see some real BMW quality on the X3? Cause I have one from the second generation and have to say that it isn't what you expect from a bmw if you look at the other models in the range.

  31. u all just wai and see.The new x3 is going to sell like hell.Ipromise u

  32. I hope this gets the turbo 4 gas engine the 3 is supposed to get and maybe get a turbo-diesel 4 and 6 cylinder.

  33. What are the odds they,ll make a X3M?

  34. Boring...

  35. PJ I would not be surpised if they did one with the engine from the next gen M3

  36. That's not the X3 - It's the X1.

  37. It can't be the X1 since that was already revealed

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