We’re officially calling it the week of the “X” as after learning about the X7’s scheduled debut and seeing the X2 M35i and the X5 xDrive45e, BMW has more news to share about its X portfolio. The Bavarians are previewing not one, but two hot X crossovers by providing a first look at the X3 M and X4 M set to join the lineup in the foreseeable future. Camouflaged near-production prototypes such as these two will be test driven this DTM racing weekend at the Nürburgring.
Revealed And Driven:
With this being only a preview of the dynamic duo, it comes as no surprise BMW is not ready to spill the beans about what will be the first-ever X3 M and X4 M. We do get to know the performance SUVs will be blessed with a newly developed turbocharged inline-six engine hooked up to a bespoke setup of the xDrive system tailored to the two high-riding models and adapted from the mighty M5.
The engine BMW is referring to is most likely the S58, which is essentially an M-ified high-performance B58 with a 3.0-liter displacement and at least 450 horsepower on tap, although we’ve been hearing rumors of up to 475 hp unlocked by the Competition Package. This new powertrain is important not just because we’ll find it underneath the hoods of the X3 M and X4 M, but also because logic tells us the next-generation M3 and M4 will also rely on this unit.
Engine aside, the speedy Sports Activity Vehicle (X3 M) and its Sports Activity Coupe (X4 M) counterpart will share an active M rear axle differential and a plethora of other M goodies. Big air intakes up front, quad exhaust tips at the back, and aero upgrades are also on the menu to help the two models “set benchmarks in terms of dynamics in their respective vehicle segment,” according to BMW M president, Frank van Meel.
The fact that BMW is previewing both models at the same time likely means we won’t have to wait more to see the X4 M following the world premiere of the “regular” X3 M. The company isn’t saying when the camouflage will come off, but it’s probably going to happen before the year’s end.
Warm-up on the Nürburgring: First official presentation of the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M.
BMW M GmbH extends its range of four-wheel drive high-performance models – Camouflaged prototypes to be presented at a driving event during the supporting programme of the DTM races.
Munich. The BMW M GmbH is extending its range of high performance models in the segment of Sports Activity Vehicles (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupes (SAC). The high-performance character so typical of BMW automobiles will be passed on to two further BMW X models, the series development of which has already been kicked off. During the DTM racing weekend at the Nürburgring (7 – 9 September 2018), prototypes of the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M will be test driven on the circuit. Thus, the camouflaged pre-series vehicles will be making their first public appearance precisely where the dynamic driving qualities of the BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M will reach their final level of maturity. The Nürburgring is the traditional setting for the completion of the ultimate testing and tuning programme for the specific overall M package comprising drive system, suspension and aerodynamics.
With large air intakes at the front, specific M features for optimised aerodynamics and an exhaust system with four tailpipes integrated into the rear apron, the vehicles already bear the characteristics of a BMW M model at an early stage of their development phase. The technological highlight of the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M is a newly developed straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics.
Part of the development process is the specific tuning of the M xDrive technology introduced for the first time in the new BMW M5. This technology is deployed in the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M to ensure constant supreme and performance-oriented transfer of engine power to all four wheels. The M-specific further development of the intelligent four-wheel drive system guarantees maximum traction and loss-free distribution of drive torque for achieving extremely dynamic handling characteristics. In interaction with the active M rear axle differential, cornering dynamics, agility and precision in the driving behaviour of the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M are lifted to a level unrivalled within the competitive environment.
“With their M specific performance characteristics, the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M will set benchmarks in terms of dynamics in their respective vehicle segment,” says Frank van Meel, President BMW M GmbH.
With the development of its latest model innovations, the BMW M GmbH is once again breaking into an additional segment. The BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M render it possible for the first time to experience superior performance, agility and precision also in a Sports Activity Vehicle and a Sports Activity Coupe of the premium mid-range class. Thus, the BMW M GmbH is consistently continuing its successful strategy of dynamic growth with new and particularly attractive vehicle concepts.