The range-topping BMW X3 M has been spotted testing. Read on for the details
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- BMW X3 M spotted testing
- Will have sportier bumpers than the regular X3
- Could produce more than 400hp
- Should go on sale in late 2018
The sporty X3 M version of the recently revealed BMW X3 has been spotted testing at the Nurburgring. It’ll sit above the current fastest M40i model and will feature more than 400hp from a turbo straight-six petrol engine.
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The X3 M will have even more aggressive styling than the X3 M40i that sits below it in the range. It will have deep air intakes and sharply sculpted bumpers like those on the X5 M and X6 M, giving the car more presence than the standard X3. Unlike other M cars such as the M2, M3 and M4, it’s unlikely the X3 M will sit as low to the ground to retain a hint of off-road ability.
At the rear, the bumper is just as aggressive, with huge holes cut out for the four massive exhaust pipes on this prototype model. Between them will be a diffuser to channel air from under the car. These photos also reveal there’ll be a large rear spoiler to aid downforce at high speeds.
The interior will be shared with the standard X3, so there’ll be a large infotainment screen on top of the centre console, digital dials behind the steering wheel and a beautifully built cabin. The X3 M will include sporty touches such as contrasting stitching, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and body-hugging sports seats to support the occupants through fast corners.
Engines and driving
There aren’t too many details about potential powerplants yet. It could use a version of the M3’s 3.0-litre engine or could use an uprated version of the M40i’s unrelated 3.0-litre turbo straight-six. In that model, it produces 360hp and propels the car from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, so it’s likely that the flagship X3 M will produce comfortably more than 400hp and knock at least half a second off the 0-62mph time.
Because it’s being tested at the Nurburgring, it’s safe to assume that the X3 M will handle well. It’ll feature firm suspension and sit slightly closer to the ground than the standard car to resist body roll. There could be race-inspired parts such as a lap timer and a hardcore ‘race’ driving mode. The X3 M will be only available with all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Price and release date
The X3 M packs a punch and prices will reflect that. When it goes on sale – probably before the end of 2018 – it’s likely to cost around £65,000, although a few options on top could see it hit the £80,000 ballpark.