The G01 BMW X3 has been around since 2017, and while the pandemic has slowed down the perception of time, there’s still no hiding the fact that the premium compact SUV is getting a little long in the tooth. Thankfully, there’s a facelift coming soon and we already had an inkling of what to expect, thanks to an official image that was leaked accidentally earlier this month.

Now, however, a series of photos posted on China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) website – which made their way onto several Chinese news portals, including Autohome – leave little to the imagination. They lay bare the numerous exterior styling changes coming to both the regular X3 and its electric sibling, the iX3, the latter only beginning to reach customers’ hands this year.

The front end is dominated by the double kidney grille, which has been made even larger; the X3 and iX3 now share the same conjoined-in-the-middle design. Flanking it are the trapezoidal headlights with revised internals in two variations – one with half L-shaped daytime running lights, the other with full hexagonal three-dimensional light guides surrounding the quad projectors.

On the M Sport models shown here (the first time the iX3 gets the package), the hexagonal centre air intake dips down in the middle to cradle the bigger grille, while the corner Air Curtain inlets are slimmer L-shaped versions, dispensing with the fog lights available previously. Along the side, the X3 remains mostly similar, although the iX3 looks to have ditched its unique triangular Air Breather vent shrouds.

Moving to the rear, the taillights get a new three-dimensional design that narrows toward the inside, while the M Sport bumper gets a new diffuser-like insert with integrated reflectors (they were mounted higher before), trapezoidal instead of round tailpipes (none for the iX3, obviously) and fake vertical vents. There also appear to be new alloy wheel options, as seen in some of the composite images.

No photos of the interior, but we can see that the basic dashboard design will be retained, replete with a freestanding centre touchscreen. Expect larger displays and some new features, including the latest BMW driver assistance systems.

The X3 should also receive the same range of four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, plus the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid that shares its powertrain (including the XtraBoost function) with the 330e. Given the newness of the iX3, don’t expect any changes to the existing setup, which consists of a 286 PS/400 Nm rear electric motor and a 74 kWh lithium-ion battery providing a range of 460 km.