BMW reveals monstrous 375kW X3 M Competition super SUV
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It's very easy to look at the crowded world of super fast, mechanically advanced hyper-SUVs and ask the question; why?
That question can easily be disarmed with a simple 'why not?', but there's a real reason too. More people out there are wanting vehicles that do more things. Many of those buying utes these days expect them to perform as family cars, and — yes — there are people who buy luxury-car buyers who want to blend the space and practicality of an SUV and the thrill of a sports car.
BMW's answers to the question have always been rather compelling, but today they've revealed two of their most focused sporty SUVs: the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition.
The Driving Machine specialists from Bavaria revealed standard M variants of each model today, too. And they're impressive enough things to begin with.
Both come equipped with a newly developed twin-turbo six-cylinder 3.0-litre unit based on the engine that is said to power the next BMW M3, bolted to an eight-speed M StepTronic transmission. And naturally, each sends its power to all four wheels through the xDrive all-wheel drive system from the BMW M5.
In the standard X3 and X4 M editions, the inline six creates 353kW of power and 600Nm of torque. That power is complemented by efforts to stiffen the chassis, made via M-specific bracing in the front end and a new A-strut.
Perfectly adequate I'm sure you'll agree, but then there's the Competition editions.
While torque remains the same, both get a 22kW kick — bringing power output to 375kW. That's 100kW more than a Ford Focus RS, and 30kW/35kW more power than the Ford Mustang Bullitt and Chevrolet Camaro SS V8s that we compared late last year.
That extra power only shaves a tenth off the X3 and X4 M 0–100km/h times, but those times still sit at an impressive 4.1 seconds.
Along with the power additives, the Competition versions also get compound brakes, sports exhaust, adaptive dampers, 21-inch wheels, and the option of being dipped in BMW's M Division carbon fibre parts bin.
Combined, these make the already handsome X3 look even sharper — very much like a M2 Competition's big brother (especially in the grey featured in these press images). The X4 remains a more ... unique visual prospect. But nonetheless the more chiseled bumpers and larger wheels make it a vast visual improvement over its standard cousin.
Exterior and mechanical changes are naturally complimented by changes inside. Both models get the standard raft of M-specific instrumentation and signage, plus lashings of carbon fibre. The standard X3 and X4 M come with Vernasca leather sports seats, while Competition editions come with Merino leather seats.
All of this means that the compact performance SUV space is as competitive as ever. These two bimmers can consider the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, Porsche Macan GTS, and potentially the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio as arch rivals.