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The third-generation BMW X3 has been spied testing in the United States.

Unlike earlier prototypes, these latest vehicles have less camouflage on its top half and around key elements, such as the headlights, tail-lights, and the air intakes. We can see clearly now that the new X3 will have an X5-style chiseled shoulder line.

Indeed from what we can make out through the disguise, the next-generation X3 will resemble a scaled down version of the current X5, with some of the current car’s distinctive styling features, such as its front fender and tail-light treatments, ditched for a more corporate look.

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Under the new skin, the X3 will be based on the company’s CLAR architecture. Previously known by the ’35up’ codename, the CLAR platform has already been employed on the latest 7 Series and 5 Series models.

As with most modern platforms, BMW’s CLAR makes extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminium to reduce weight, while improving fuel economy and performance.

Under the bonnet, the X3 will be powered by a range of turbocharged six-, four- and, possibly, three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

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In May, photographers caught the next-generation X3 M out testing, and that model will possibly be powered by a version of the 317kW/550Nm twin-turbocharged six-pot that’s used in the M3 sedan and M4 two-door.

An earlier spy photo set gave us a peek at the new crossover’s interior, which will feature a free-standing tablet-style infotainment screen, and a high-resolution screen framed by the speedometer and tachometer bezels.

bmw-x3-spy-7-side

Seeing as the current model made its debut in 2010, and BMW tight adherence to seven-year model cycles, the new X3 will likely make its debut late this year or some time in 2017.

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