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by Adam Lynton
The compact luxury SUV is getting an early facelift to keep up with its German competitors.
Following the trend set by Audi with the Q5 and Mercedes with the GLK, BMW has evidently decided that it's time for the X3 to get a mild makeover. These are the first spy shots of the refreshed X3 undergoing road testing, which indicate that the facelift will be limited to the front and rear bumpers, grille and headlights. New air intakes will feature on the front bumper and the grille will be more upright, although completely new bumpers are not expected.
The prototype's camo makes it hard to determine whether the headlights will stretch to the grille as per the 3 Series, but given that BMW seems to be implementing that design traight across its range, the whiskers will probably have to make it onto the X3 at some point. Powerplants for the facliefted X3 could range from the 1.5-liter three-cylinder unit to an M3-powered X3 M. We should learn more as we get closer to the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013 where the revised compact crossover is expected to debut.