X3 replacement larger and more conservative than old model

BMW’s new X3 has broken cover and as our spy shots show it is considerably larger than the previous model.

The new X1 will effectively replace the current X3, allowing the next-generation model to move up a segment.

Gone is the controversial and slightly awkward “flame surfacing” styling of the old X3, replaced with more conservative bodywork.

The car, codenamed F25, is understood to be retaining largely road car mechanicals instead of heavy-duty SUV hardware, with the focus on driving dynamics.

As the X3 becomes more bloated, expect the imposing X5 to become marginally bigger next time around.

The next 3-series is lending its architecture to the X3, which will only be available with four-wheel drive. Its the wheelbase will be around 2900mm.

The X3 is expected to be slightly more aerodynamic than the previous model, with a number of clever aero tweaks to the underside of the car, and flaps and intakes to direct air flow.

The engines on offer will range from a 175bhp 2.0d to the 3.0si with 305bhp. The new X3 is expected to arrive in 2011.

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