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After being spied in cold-weather testing back in January, the next-generation 2017 BMW X3 has now been spotted being put through its paces at the Nurburgring.

With the new X3 now in performance testing, it can be assumed the mid-range SUV is in the final stages of development, meaning an official unveiling could be on the horizon.

The new X3 will take on the yet-to-debut 2017 Audi Q5 and the newly launched Mercedes-Benz GLC.

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Given the current model was released in 2010 and the lifespan of BMW models is generally six to seven years, it’s likely we will see the next-gen X3 before the year is out.

We can likely expect the new BMW X3 to sport evolutionary exterior styling, but reports also suggest that a new look will feature in the cabin, introducing a more progressive design and higher-quality materials. More legroom and boot space is also expected.

The X3 will use a version of BMW’s flexible rear-wheel-drive platform, which underpins the new 7 Series and will feature beneath the next 3 Series, 5 Series and the big new X7, among others.

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The German car maker’s carbon-core architecture aims for lighter and better performing vehicles via the use of materials like aluminium and carbon-fibre.

While the X3 is included in the range of BMWs set to get the lightweight treatment, it’s possible the use of materials like carbon-fibre could be limited in order to reduce costs.

When it hits showrooms, the new X3 can be expected to have a number of drivetrains on offer including variations of both a 2.0-litre four-cylinder and a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol and diesel engines.

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Some markets may also offer an X3 featuring a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, much like the one currently doing service in the recently facelifted 318i.

MORE: BMW news, reviews, pricing and specs
MORE: X3 news, reviews, pricing and specs




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