Well, it’s not like it wasn’t a bit obvious it would happen, but BMW has done full-fat M versions of the X3 and X4. Imaginatively, they’re called X3 M and X4.
Like the X3 M40i and X4 M40i, it’s a twin-turbo six-cylinder version of each, but with just a scootch extra pep. Well, a lot extra. And to go with the pep, there’s a bunch of go-faster
You’ll be able to spot the two by a few key changes. The new front and rear bumpers are deeper and more aggressive, and the Competition’s blacked-out grille that suddenly
Inside are the usual M accoutrements, including upscale Vernasca leather, M steering wheel and M gear shifter. They roll on 20-inch alloys with a funky polished face that won’t like kerbs very much.
The Competition versions come with blacked-out exterior bits (beyond the grille), 21-inch black alloys and spoiler. Inside you get posher Merino leather, M seats and various M badges around the place. You also get LED headlights, ConnectedDrive, professional sat nav and the hi-fi speaker system.
X3 M X4 M Drivetrain
There’s a new beastie lurking under here. Based on the crackerjack B58 in the M140i, the S58 is still a 3.0-litre six but with twin-turbos. And, if you listen closely, you can hear the future – this engine will be in the forthcoming M3/M4 pair.
The X3 and X4 M have 353 kW (480PS) and 600Nm while the Competition models benefit from a further 22kW for a maximum figure of 375kW (510PS). Torque is the same in the Competition. If you’re interested, 375kW is a remarkably similar power figure to the Mercedes-Benz GLC63S AMG, which is a rocket.
|Power||Torque||0-100km/h (0-62mph)||Top speed - limited|
|M||353kW (480PS)||600Nm||4.2||250km/h (155mph)|
|M Competition||375kW (510PS)||600Nm||4.1s||250km/h (155mph)|
Despite the same power figures as the GLC63, the torque deficiency means the Beemers can’t quite match the acceleration figures.
The power gets to all four wheels with the aid of the usual brilliant eight-speed ZF automatic. The AWD system is M’s version of xDrive and the rear axle has an M Active differential, which usually means a lot of fun.
M is getting pretty good at making big heavy SUVs (I refuse to call them SAVs) feel light on their feet.
The three drive settings not only change the throttle and transmission responses but also the suspension. Up front is a double-joint spring strut arrangement with a five-link setup at the back. M adaptive dampers change along with the drive mode.
As in other proper M cars, you can set up your own drive modes with the M1 and M2 buttons. The rear-biased
The press release didn’t say much about the brakes, but they’re bound to be bigger and stronger than the M40i models, which aren’t bad to start with.
Soon. But most likely this year and priced somewhere between the Audi SQ5 and Merc’s GLC63.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.