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Spy shot BMW X3

The X1 lands in Australia next year and will be fresh and new, unlike the larger X3 which has at least two more years before its next major overhaul.  Carparazzi caught the new X3 at the Nurburgring during recent tests and, despite a complete overhaul, the car looks much like the current model.

The new X3 will have almost the same dimensions, although its styling will be shaped — Carparazzi says — to reflect some of BMW's work on the CS concept. That means a more prominent grille plus new wraparound headlights.

BMW is concentrating on lifting cabin quality in the X3 to combat the gains made by the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 which went on sale this year, as well as the Mercedes-Benz GLK which is still being promised for Australia — sometime.

The other change for the X3 is that production will be moved to the USA, where it will be built alongside the X5 and X6 models at BMW's factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Mechanically, the biggest news is expected to be a twin-turbo engine taken from the 335i model, as well as a 2-litre turbodiesel and — like the larger X-cars — a hybrid model.