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BMW has previewed its next-generation X3 SUV in a series of images, showing a heavily-disguised prototype tearing up the white powder in North Sweden.

With the current model now in its seventh year, the new X3 is expected to be revealed sometime later this year – though BMW is remaining tight-lipped as to when its all-new crossover will make its debut.

The company says the icy surfaces of frozen lakes and remote roads of the region allow it to fine-tune stability and traction control systems, along with the xDrive all-wheel drive system.

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Additionally, BMW says cold-weather testing contributes to the development of the vehicle as a whole, considering the exposure to extreme weather conditions.

Despite the swirly black-and-white camouflage, the X3 looks like it will draw a lot of inspiration design-wise from the smaller X1 and the larger X5.

Up front the large ‘double kidney’ grille and headlights resemble the X5 – which is also set to be updated soon – while the tail-lights look very similar to the X1 and new 5 Series Touring.

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Images of the interior are yet to surface, but it’s likely the X3 will take styling cues from newer models like the X1, 5 Series and 7 Series, along with offering the company’s latest infotainment and driver assistance systems.

Under the bonnet will likely be a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, in four-, six-, and possibly three-cylinder configurations.

It’s also believed a high-performance M model will join the X3 range for the first time, potentially motivated by the 317kW/550Nm twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight six from the M3 and M4.

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For more details of the new X3, we’ll just have to wait until the new SUV is revealed – which is likely to occur later this year.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates.

MORE: 2017 BMW X3 spied with less camouflage (November 2016)
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