BMW has already been caught testing the next-generation X3 even though the new midsize luxury crossover won't hit the market until closer to the middle of the decade. The prototypes we've seen were hiding an evolutionary design as the model codenamed "G45" will ride on the same CLAR platform. It could be an entirely different story with the M version as BMWBLOG alleges the high-performance derivative will go purely electric.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report claims BMW is planning to discontinue the inline-six-powered X3 M after the current generation runs its course. Its replacement is believed to ride on the BEV-first Neue Klasse architecture, which will premiere in 2025. The first electric vehicles to use the NE underpinnings will be a new i3 (3 Series Saloon) and the next-gen iX3.
BMW X3 M Competition (2021)
It's unclear whether the range topper will be called "iX3 M" or the Munich-based company will simply stick to "X3 M." BMWBLOG goes on to speculate the sporty electric flavour is earmarked for a release in 2026 or 2027, which makes sense considering the standard SUV will be launched around 2025. While the X3 will continue to have combustion engines in its lesser configurations, the swoopy X4 sibling is believed to go EV-only as an iX4 model.
The juicy report comes only hours after BMW was spotted hauling a quad-motor electric prototype. The modified i4 M50 wearing a colourful livery is a taste of things to come regarding full-fat M models with no ICE. Previous statements made by high-ranked officials from Bavaria have indicated work is underway for a hardware capable of churning out over 1,300 bhp. That would be fitting for a dedicated supercar, but in the meantime, expect the familiar M models to switch from petrol to electric.
For what it's worth, the report claims an iX3 M will pack more punch than the current X3 M, which tops out with the Competition model at 503 bhp (375 kW) and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft). An electric successor is going to need a power advantage to partially offset what will likely be a significant weight increase. The petrol-fuelled X3 M on sale today isn't exactly a lightweight SUV (oxymoron?), tipping the scales at just over 2,000 kilograms (over 4,400 pounds).