The first-ever BMW X3 M and X4 M will officially make their debut this year. BMW’s M division has been developing high-performance versions of both the crossovers since their launch.
Prototypes of both the high-performance crossovers were spotted at the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany in conjunction with the DTM (German Touring Car Championship) race last weekend. Both the cars can be seen wrapped in loud camouflage with bold letters proclaiming their names down the sides.
The BMW X3 M and X4 M will join their bigger cousins in 2020.
BMW characterizes Nurburgring as “the traditional setting for the completion of the ultimate testing and tuning programs for the specific overall M package comprising drive system, suspension, and aerodynamics.” While the company has not released too much information about the two M crossovers. Frank Van Meel, head of BMW M, claimed the X3 M and X4 M “will set benchmarks in terms of dynamics in their respective vehicle segments.”
Van Meel called attention to the prototypes’ enlarged front intakes, revised aerodynamics, and quad tailpipes that mark the two crossovers out as true M cars. BMW also says that the X3 M and X4 M will debut with a “newly developed straight-six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics.” We could possibly be looking at a higher output than the current X3 M40i’s 355 horses. The M crossovers will also have electronic limited-slip differential and an all-wheel-drive system similar to the one found on the X5 M and X6 M SUVs.
BMW M has a pretty high bar to reach up to, with Alfa Romeo sitting at the top of the performance SUV food chain.
If the BMW X3 M and X4 M are to set benchmarks in their segment, they have some strong existing players to contend with, like the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, Porsche Macan Turbo, and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. The latter in fact set a new record for production SUVs at the Nurburgring with a lap time of 7:51.7 one year ago. The record still stands today, so BMW has its work cut out.
Expect the BMW X3 M and X4 M to arrive at dealerships in late 2019 as 2020 models.