BMW has officially pulled the wraps off the facelifted 2021 (G01) X3 and 2021 (G02) X4 SUVs. The comprehensive update, which BMW calls a Life Cycle Impulse or LCI gives both models an aesthetic refresh, up-to-date tech and the introduction of 48V mild-hybrid architecture for increased electrification within the range.
Aesthetically, both models receive a characteristic update of the front and rear bumpers. At the front, the BMW kidney grille is now larger (as expected) with a single-piece frame, flanked by redesigned headlights that are now slimmer. The headlights themselves feature full LED technology as standard now. The major highlight at the rear is the black-bordered tail lamps giving the full-LED rear lights a more precise appearance, while the narrower light graphic now includes a three-dimensional modelled pincer contour for a three-dimensional look.
The M Sport models will receive a sportier-looking front end with significantly larger air inlets and inserts finished in high-gloss black, as well as more pronounced air curtains. The rear bumper on the other hand will include a striking diffuser finished in Dark Shadow along with two additional side air-curtain panels in high-gloss black. M Sport models will also receive the new 19-inch Y‑Spoke 887M alloy wheel in Midnight Grey Bi-color with 245/50 R19 tyres.
On the inside, the new X3 and X4 adopt the centre console architecture of the current BMW 4 Series –consisting of a free-standing 10.25-inch central Control Display as standard in all vehicles. A 12.3-inch version of the touch display is also available as an option. The improved standard equipment will now also include sports seats hemmed in Sensatec material with perforated main seat surfaces, as well as automatic climate control with 3-zone control.
Elsewhere, the new centre console design now accommodates the newly designed ‘control island’ with the gear selector lever, BMW Controller, start/stop button, electric parking brake, hill descent control and various driving mode controls in a central position. The updated X3 and X4 will also offer enhanced wireless smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The big news in terms of the powertrains is the updated BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid model, which combines a petrol engine and electric motor (powering the front wheels) for a total power output of 292hp, which can be boosted by 41hp temporarily when needed. The xDrive30e lithium-ion high-voltage battery is claimed to offer an electric driving range of up to 50km.
Separately, all 4- and 6-cylinder engines in the X3 and X4 will now use 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. The system integrates a 48-volt‑starter generator that recuperates energy in the 48-volt battery which can then be used for an electric boost of 11 hp when needed, in addition to supplying the 12‑volt on-board network.
All X3 variants are supplied as standard with the 8-speed Steptronic gearbox, while the higher-powered X3 M40i and M40d and all BMW X4 models will feature an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with paddle shifts and Launch Control as standard.
The new BMW X3 and the new BMW X4 are due to see their world premiere at the Chengdu Motor Show in China (27 August to 5 September), while the European premiere will take place at the IAA Munich Motorshow in September.