BMW is working on a redesign for its top-selling X3 small crossover and the latest prototypes to be spotted are for a plug-in hybrid variant.
We know they're plug-in hybrids because caps for both a charging port (driver side front fender) and fuel filler (passenger side rear fender) are present. One of the prototypes also has the label “Electrified Vehicle” on its sides, but it isn't a full electric as it has an exhaust system, as indicated by its rear-mounted muffler.
The current X3 was briefly offered in the U.S. with a plug-in hybrid option, the X3 xDrive30e which came with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 mated to a single electric motor integrated with the transmission. The option was dropped after 2021, however.
It isn't clear whether BMW plans to once again offer an X3 plug-in hybrid in the U.S., and there's a good chance we don't see it as the automaker is expected to offer an electric iX3 here with the new generation, at least in standard guise. The current X3 also has an electric iX3 option that we miss out on.
2025 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
There's also the possibility that one or more versions of the redesigned X3 offered by the BMW M skunkworks will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, including potentially the next X3 M, and any such model is a safe bet for U.S. sale. M-badged versions of the latest 7-Series feature plug-in hybrid power, and we also know the redesigned M5 and upcoming XM will both feature plug-in hybrid powertrains.
The redesigned X3 is expected to arrive in 2024 as a 2025 model, and the standard plug-in hybrid version should be available at launch or shortly after, depending on the market.
The platform of the new X3 is expected to be an updated version of the current X3's CLAR design, which would mean rear-wheel drive with the option of all-wheel drive.
The X3 is a vehicle BMW won't want to mess around with. BMW in 2021 managed to sell 75,858 examples in the U.S. alone, making it the automaker's most popular vehicle here.