Base versions make 473 hp
Well, they’re finally here. After months of spy shots and rumors, BMW has officially revealed the 2020 X3 M, as well as an X4 M with identical specs. And for the first time on any of BMW’s crossovers, you’ll be able to order a Competition version with even more power.
Under the hood, BMW used a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six that makes 473 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough power to run from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds on your way to a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h). Upgrade to the Competition, and you get 503 hp, a top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h), and a 0-60 time of 4.0 seconds. You’ll have to add the optional M Driver’s Package if you want to hit those top speeds, though. Otherwise, BMW limits you to 155 mph (250 km/h). Around back, you’ll find a quad-exhaust with an electronically controlled multi-mode exhaust that BMW promises will reduce backpressure and deliver a “stirring soundtrack.”
For comparison, our long-term X3 M40i makes 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and in our testing hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The last Porsche Macan Turbo with the Performance Package only makes 440 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque but hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S, on the other hand, makes 503 hp and 516 lb-ft and posted a 0-60 time of only 3.2 seconds. Meanwhile, the 505-hp Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio ran from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds.
An eight-speed automatic sends its power to all four wheels and offers three progressively sharper shift modes. To improve driving dynamics, the all-wheel-drive system only sends power to the front wheels when the rear wheels begin to lose traction. Otherwise, it operates like it’s rear-wheel drive. Even better, if you ever decide to hit the track, BMW promises you can turn stability control completely off.
To handle the extra power and improve the driving experience, engineers worked to stiffen the chassis. But if you place your order after August of this year, you’ll have the option of trading your regular front strut brace for a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic one. Competition models also come with larger anti-roll bars to better control body roll. And, of course, the entire active suspension has been reworked for sportier handling. Depending on driving conditions, drivers can choose from Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ suspension settings.
Braking is handled by 15.6-inch discs up front, while the rears are 1 inch smaller. And in the interest of saving weight, the cast-iron discs have aluminum hubs. A set of 20-inch wheels comes standard, with Competition models getting 21-inchers.
Finishing out the M transformation is a more muscular body kit that improves aerodynamics, as well as engine breathing and brake cooling. Inside, you’ll find sports seats, premium leather upholstery, an M steering wheel, an M shift knob, and plenty of M badges. Spring for the Competition, and you’ll get even more aggressively bolstered M-sport seats that are optional on lower models. At the moment, BMW hasn’t revealed pricing, but expect that to be announced closer to the beginning of production in April.
It’s great to finally get to see the M version of BMW’s compact SUVs, as well as what is likely a sneak peek at the drivetrain we’ll see in the upcoming G20-based BMW M3 and M4.