While both the BMW X3 and X4 have had light “M”versions for a little while (the X3 M40i, and the X4 M40i), they have never received the full “BMW M” treatment. It seems, however, that’s not enough for BMW as there will not only be an X3 M and an X4 M, but also be higher spec “Competition” versions of both.
Like the recently-announced M3/M4,Both get new twin-turbo inline TwinPower sixes – of course they do – that have been massaged to provide 480 hp and 442 lb-ft in non-Competition spec, and 510 – five-hundred and ten – hp in Competition models all fed through a dual exhaust system. A forged crankshaft and more rigid block allow for more torque, while iron coating on the cylinder walls makes for less operational friction, and a three-pack of radiators keep everything cool. The result is a claimed zero-100 km/h sprint of 4.2 seconds for the standard X3 M and X4 M, and 4.1 seconds for the Competition versions.
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Much as any M-car must, they also have to handle turns well. Both vehicles get all-wheel drive with a standard Active M Differential, allowing power to be sent to whichever wheel needs it. There’s no manual transmission option, but BMW is using an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with paddles shifters shared with the X5 M. Like other M cars, the X3 and X4 M will both have M-specific buttons on the steering wheel that will load specific presets for your transmission, throttle and adaptive suspension. There’s also an optional heads-up display and M-specific gauge cluster.
Styling-wise, along with special 21-inch light-alloy wheels, both vehicles will get a blacked-out kidney grille surround, mirror caps and side grilles. Inside, deep-bolstered M Sport seats finished in merino leather will be standard, while Competition models get two-tone upholstery and Alcantara leather.