BMW says a higher performance M version of its new 2018 BMW X3 is under evaluation with the new model’s more capable platform and underpinnings now able to support the necessary requirements of its M division.
The new BMW X3 is based on the same platform as the recently launched BMW 5 Series and 7 Series, giving it access to not only the technology available to these models but also the performance potential of the architecture. This has opened the door for an upcoming BMW X3 M, which would take on the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and potential Audi RSQ5.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Frankfurt motor show yesterday, the product manager for the BMW X3, Dr Roland Meier, said the performance model was under consideration, with a decision to be made shortly.
“It is possible and we are evaluating it. Definitely yes, it’s on the right platform. We are open to everything,” Meier said.
The BMW X3 M, which is unlikely to be in Australia until at least late 2018, will more than likely be powered by the same engine as the M3/M4, with Meier ruling out the use of the brand’s twin-turbo V8 engine (as used in the X5 M).
In its current highest capacity tune, the 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine in the M4 with the competition pack produces 331kW of power and 550Nm of torque. It won’t compete with the monstrous might of the 4.0-litre V8 in GLC 63 S (375kW and 700Nm), however, given BMW’s nature of light weight sports cars, it will likely provide a very dynamically capable offering.
Details of the BMW X3 M are still very much under wraps, however with the already unveiled BMW X3 M40i promising 0-100km/h times of 4.8 seconds, it’s likely that BMW will be working on the X3 M to deliver figures in the low four seconds, in order to better compete with the 0-100km/h of 3.8 seconds for the GLC 63 S.
The BMW X3 Ms potential for the Australian market will likely be substantial, considering the success of the current range of BMW M SUVs locally. We anticipate an official confirmation of the vehicle’s development in the near future.