New BMW X3M and X4M have public debut at Shanghai, both featuring a 506bhp straight six plus chassis tweaks and styling upgrades
The BMW X3M and X4M have had their public debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. The M-developed SUVs are priced from £77,070 and £79,990 respectively and are aimed directly at the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Joining the new X3 line-up that was launched last year, the X3M – which will be accompanied by the mechanically identical X4M – will be powered by an all-new, twin-turbocharged straight-six engine, the most powerful of its kind fitted to a BMW M car.
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This new 3.0-litre motor will be offered in two states of tune: an entry-level 476bhp model and a 506bhp example badged Competition. But the latter will be the only derivative BMW will sell in the UK. Torque for both X3Ms will be an identical 600Nm.
An eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be fitted, but there won’t be an option to select a rear-wheel-drive mode through the car’s M Dynamic Model set-up, unlike in other xDrive M cars such as the M5 and forthcoming M8.
However, the xDrive drivetrain has been developed with a torque and power bias to the rear axle. The manufacturer’s Active M differential will also be fitted as standard.
In terms of performance, the X3M and Competition will sprint from 0-62mph in 4.2 and 4.1 seconds respectively, which means the cars will be 0.2 and 0.3 seconds slower than Mercedes-AMG’s GLC 63 and 63 S models.
BMW M has not only developed a new engine for the X3M, but it has also worked on developing the chassis. There are new front and rear subframes, plus considerable bracing across the front suspension, and the electronically controlled active dampers have been recalibrated, too, while the company has adapted the steering from the electronic system fitted to the M5.
The X3M comes with 20-inch wheels as standard, with 21-inch rims fitted to the Competition. Carbon-ceramic brakes won’t be offered, even as an option.
Visually, the X3M has all the hallmarks of a modern M car, with oversized openings in the front bumper, which also incorporates a discreet front spoiler. Deeper side skirts, a rear diffuser and a bespoke roof spoiler complete the aerodynamic enhancements.
The Competition model also features high-gloss finishes to the front grille, mirror caps, M gills in the front wings and rear spoiler.
Inside, as you’d expect, the M treatment continues, with Competition models being offered with M Sport seats trimmed in bi-colour leather and Alcantara.
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