By on June 25, 2017


BMW wasn’t supposed to issue the global reveal of the new X3 until next week, but it seems its official website in Hong Kong didn’t get the memo. Product details and photos have appeared a few days earlier than expected.

While easily recognizable as an X3, the updated SUV’s more sinister headlamps and gaping air inlets service a more aggressive forward appearance. However, the profile and overall shape has changed very little. With the exception of some gentle buffing of the bodywork, to smooth down the sharper edges and altered taillights, BMW doesn’t appear to have changed much on the exterior. 


Initially noticed by CarScoops, the Hong Kong images are identical to those leaked in France over the weekend. Everything is pointing to it using the company’s new CLAR platform to host a series of powertrain options. For launch, most of the world will receive engine options which include turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines — sized at 2.0 and 3.0 liters, respectively. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive will come as standard, while BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system will be offered for an additional fee.

Since BMW’s M division has to influence every single model the automaker is considering, the X3 will arrive with an M variant at launch. Hong Kong says that will come in the form of the M40i as the SUV’s top tier trim. Using the inline-six, the rumor mill places its specs at 360 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque — substantially stronger than the previous generation. According to the official website those figures yield it a 4.8 second 0 to 62 mph time and 155mph top speed. Converting from metric units, BMW says that will be good for between 28 and 29 miles per gallon.


Based on talk from Germany, we’re almost assured to see a hybridized powerplant in the future and possibly a genuine M Sport model with even more horsepower than the M40i. Hong Kong also specified two diesel trims that may or, more likely, may not make it to North America.

We’ll know more tomorrow. Until then, feel free to ogle or compare the third generation X3’s updated look against the previous incarnation.





[Images: BMW]

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31 Comments on “Official 2018 BMW X3 Photos Leaked Prematurely...”

  • avatar

    I’m not sure I would have noticed the difference…maybe those ugly Honda-esque apertures on the front are new?

  • avatar

    The greenhouse says, “I look EXACTLY like every modern SUV in the world, from the lowliest Kia on up.”

    The lower front says, “And my designers didn’t know how to make me not look like a Subaru Forester, so they sourced some plastic cladding from the Civic design group and hoped no one would notice how ugly it is.”

    Y’all are too young to remember, but back in the day we had the same syndrome: the UJC. Universal Japanese Car. They all looked alike.

    And now we have the Universal SUV. Not a thing distinguishes this from any other similar sized SUV on the market, save for the payment. Go on, take the badges off this and four others from different manufacturers, paint them all the same color, and ask the man in the street to tell you what brands they are.

    Nada. Zero. Zip. Nobody will have a clue.

    Is the car market THAT scared of styling something different??

    I’m shopping for a car right now. A sedan. I won’t have one of these or any of its competition, because it just screams, “SHEEPLE!”. (Yes, you clueless moms out there, I’m looking at you–and your excuse for not having a minivan because you think it just screams, “Mom!” so loudly. Never mind the SUV you’re driving that’s spitting out kids like a clown car at the soccer field and McDonald’s. No, that doesn’t scream MOM! at all, does it.)

    • 0 avatar

      “Go on, take the badges off this and four others from different manufacturers, paint them all the same color, and ask the man in the street to tell you what brands they are.

      Nada. Zero. Zip. Nobody will have a clue.”

      Don’t include Jeeps in this little exercise, at least not the Cherokee and Renegade.

      • 0 avatar

        OK, I’ll buy that.

        But Jeep has always done its own thing. When the world went SUV, they purposely didn’t copy Jeep. They created the universal SUV that we see today everywhere BUT on Jeep lots.

    • 0 avatar

      It looks to me like they tried to make it look like a SUV, but due to the generic chunkiness, ended up making a station wagon that’s not on stilts.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    For some reason it really annoys me when these photoshop creations are called “photos.”

  • avatar

    I believe you made a mistake and accidentally put in the current version.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    A friend of mine looked at the old X3 but bought an Audi A4 wagon instead. This new X3 doesn’t look much different from the one he had during a 24-hour test drive. Unfortunately his Audi only lasted a year – his wife wanted what all the other wives had at the time: An MDX.

  • avatar

    Looks the same as the old one to me

  • avatar

    Wow! I am impressed (sarcasm). Looks exactly like any other BMW or BMW from 10 years ago. What a big deal.

  • avatar

    “Leaked Prematurely”.

    I didn’t realize that leaks could be premature.

    So exactly when were the pics supposed to be leaked? Later this
    week perhaps?

    Released Prematurely, perhaps?

  • avatar

    I guess the Koreans have poached all of the good German designers and BMW has no back fill. I thought BMW was afraid of their dwindling caché and we’re trying to reclaim their past. Maybe just not with SUVs…

  • avatar

    Looks exactly like the previous one. I drove BMWs for years, from a 1972 2002 (highly modified) to my last one, an E36M3. BMW is nothing more than a luxury car company now. A BMW was a truly unique breed apart from a Mercedes or Audi up through the mid-2000s, but after the E39 M5 and E46 M3 era, they started moving toward being a lifestyle accessory. It’s completely beyond me why anyone would buy a new one now, especially a crossover, when multiple Japanese companies offer comparable models, for less money, that perform as well or better, and are far more reliable. Every time I see a new base X1 or X3, with its 2-liter four and vinyl interior, I just chuckle.

  • avatar

    I like it! Looks like the current X5 shrunken down. The front end is over the top look! Upscale soccer mom car with only a small family!

  • avatar

    BMW has completely fallen off. Aside from the 2 series and the X4 M40i (bite me) they don’t make anything class leading or desirable (to me at least)

  • avatar

    Remember the clean, handsome lines of the first-generation X5? Where everything actually lined up and had a purpose?

    I miss that BMW design language.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      To me, the original 2000-2006 E53 X5 looked very slab-sided. I thought the 2007-2013 E70 model (an example of which I briefly owned) was the sweet spot.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m with Kyle here. E70 was the sweet spot for design but the reliability was terrible by all accounts. I could look past the slab sides of the E53 myself but could never get past it’s huge a$$ no matter how many cut lines BMW threw in to disguise that fact. E53 handled well for the time though – I did the Ultimate Driving Experience autocross in one at launch and came away impressed, especially when all of the competitors needed training wheels so as to not roll over.

  • avatar

    It looks like the tires leaked prematurely, too.

  • avatar

    Talk about yawn-inducing. Add any more styling cues and they’ll be approaching Chrysler Sebring territory.

  • avatar

    Looks like an X1 hooked up to a helium tank for an extra few minutes.

    The ‘different size sausage’ car design worked when design was better – late 90’s 3, 5, 7 series for example.

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