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2011 performance testing in the wet

BMW’s new X3 has been testing in the wet at Germany’s Nurburgring. The car has similar proportions to a Range Rover Sport, although will be slightly smaller, and is far bulkier than the current X3.

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

See the BMW X3 spy shot picture gallery

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.

BMW has always been serious about making its SUVs handle like the rest of the range on tarmac and these shots show how much emphasis is being put on road holding.

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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