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Mid-level M-powerment

The mid-range Sport Activity X3 and X4 models from BMW has now been empowered with the most formidable straight-six petrol engine ever in an M-badged product from Munich.

The M-division from BMW has now expanded its high-performance model line-up to include the mid-size Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupé (SAC) segments for the first time by shoehorning the most powerful straight-six petrol engine ever to see action in a BMW M car into their engine bays.

In “normal” M configuration the new, high-revving in-line six with M TwinPower Turbo technology delivers a staggering maximum output of 353 kW from its three-litre displacement and generates a peak torque of 600 Nm, while the version in the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition generates a full 22 kW more (375 kW).

Created with the singular purpose of showing four tailpipes to adversaries such as the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q, the Porsche Macan Turbo, the Lamborghini Urus, and the Audi RS Q3, the X3 M and X4 M both sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, while their Competition variants hit 100 km/h from rest in just 4.1 seconds.

The high-performance engine is teamed with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and uses the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system (which debuted in the BMW M5) to channel power to the road. The M-system offers X3 M and X4 M owners two AWD driving modes and their on-road dynamism and precision are underpinned by model-specific body strengthening elements and sophisticated chassis technology.

The M-specific suspension, with three selectable settings, has electronically controlled dampers to enable everyday comfort and direct contact with the road, with low wheel and body movements. The chassis technology package is rounded off with M-specific steering, powerful M-compound brakes, and 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, among other things.

M-specific features

M-specific design features optimise cooling and aerodynamics while inside electrically adjustable sports seats, Vernasca leather upholstery, an M-specific cockpit, an M-leather steering wheel, and an M-gearshift selector lever create a sporty, luxurious ambience.

The Competition models have further exclusive accents in the form of a high-gloss black grille surround, exterior mirror caps, and M-gills, and the rear spoiler of the Sports Activity Coupé. Standard equipment includes 21-inch M light-alloy wheels and an M-Sport exhaust system. Inside, it is enhanced by M-Sport seats with Merino leather upholstery, model-specific door sill plates, and a model nameplate.

Options such as the M Carbon exterior package provides further scope for individualisation and includes advanced driver assistance systems and the digital services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive. The BMW X3 M Competition and the all-new BMW X4 M Competition will be launched in South Africa in the third quarter of this year, whilst the X3 M and the X4 M will be available at a later stage. Pricing and local specifications will be confirmed in due course.

– Paul van Gass