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Next-gen BMW X3 M and X4 M take shape

17th Sep 2018 7:00 am

Range-topping variants of new X3 to come with M xDrive system that'll deliver 430hp to all four wheels; bolder bumpers and prominent exhausts indicate performance.

BMW will launch hot X3 M and X4 M models later this year. The models will be range-topping variants of the latest X3 SUV that'll rival the Porsche Macan Turbo, and have been confirmed to get a high-revving, six-cylinder, twin-turbo petrol engine, newly developed for the next-generation of BMW M cars.
 
The X3 M and X4 M will also come with BMW's M xDrive system seen in the M5, delivering an anticipated 430hp to all four wheels. The active M differential is also fitted and is used across multiple M-badged cars already.
 
The new X3 flagship has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring numerous times, with almost no camouflage, revealing the M division enhancements its body will receive over the regular car. Both cars' first official outing in prototype form took place at the Nürburgring, where they were demonstrated during the DTM racing weekend.
 
Bolder bumpers and more prominent exhausts are clear signals to the cars' performance. They'll also get larger diameter wheels, although early development cars had mismatched alloys. Like the regular cars, the X3 M will feature LED lighting as standard.
 
The biggest changes, however, are under the bonnet, where the X3 M and X4 M use a 430hp, straight-six, turbocharged engine, which is related to the one used in the M3 and M4.
 
The new X3 M, also due to face the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, will be built around the same revised high-strength steel platform with a modified double-wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension as the new X3 – a setup that is predicted to be used for the X4 M model next year. The X4 M will face the coupé variant of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. 
 
The flagship X3 will sit above the current hottest model, the X3 M40i. The M40i is also powered by BMW's 3.0-litre, straight-six, twin-turbocharged unit but in less hardcore form, so it generates 360hp – still good enough to get the M40i to 100kph in 4.8sec. This suggests the X3 M could cover 0-100kph in around 4.5sec.

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