Following the launch of the all-new X3, a pumped-up version has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring with almost no camouflage
Sam Sheehan
28 September 2017

BMW will launch a hot X3 M later this year as the range-topping variant of the latest X3 SUV to rival the Porsche Macan Turbo.

The new X3 flagship model has been photograped testing at the Nürburgring with next to no camouflage, revealing the M division enhancements its body will recieve over the regular car.

Bolder bumpers and more prominent exhausts are clear signals to the car's performance. It'll also get larger diameter wheels, although this test car' features mismatched alloys. Like the regular car, the X3 M will feature LED lighting as standard.

The biggest changes for the M model are under its bonnet, where the X3 M uses a 425bhp turbocharged straight six engine, which is related to the one used in the M3 and M4.

The new X3 M, also due to face the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, will be built around the same revised high-strength steel platform with a modified double-wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension as the new X3 - a set-up that is predicted to be used for an X4 M model next year.

It will sit above the current hottest model, the X3 M40i M Performance. That car is also powered by BMW's twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six but in less hardcore form, so it generates 355bhp - still good enough to get the M40i to 62mph in 4.8sec. This suggests the X3 M could cover 0-62mph in around 4.5sec.

The X3 M40i costs from £51,280, so the X3 M is likely to be available from just over £60,000 - aligning it closely with the Macan Turbo, which starts at £62,540

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Comments
18

12 October 2015
..but let's hope the designers don't make the car look like an old boot from the side, like the last two.

26 April 2016
RIP M.

4 May 2016
Some things do not change with BMW suv models

12 May 2016
I don't get why they think that bundling the car up with decals like that will make the car less conspicuous on the roads. Especially if it's a long awaited model upgrade. I personally think that if you just painted it like a normal car, people would have a hard time figuring out the differences themselves. Unless you were an aficionado or true enthusiast, you probably wouldn't really know where to start looking for changes in the car at all.

22 December 2016
webbrowan wrote:

I don't get why they think that bundling the car up with decals like that will make the car less conspicuous on the roads. Especially if it's a long awaited model upgrade. I personally think that if you just painted it like a normal car, people would have a hard time figuring out the differences themselves. Unless you were an aficionado or true enthusiast, you probably wouldn't really know where to start looking for changes in the car at all.

Proper test mules always have large preformed plastic cladding to disguise the overall shape of a new model but when the manufacturer puts this type of lairy psychedelic wrap on a test car it's to attract attention and hopefully create a bit of a buzz around a soon to arrive model.

I reckon.

13 May 2016
What a shame, the current dashboard setup looks like its being changed for the retro fit looking iPad like bolt on. Looks like I will be moving back to Mercedes to take advantage of their advance digital dashboard technology first seen in the newly launched E Class.

BMW have got it wrong again, they always seem to be one step behind chasing the competition on everything but engines and driving dynamics. Maybe the best of Mercedes and BMW would actual deliver awesome cars.

David Billing

19 July 2016
s2davidjb wrote:

What a shame, the current dashboard setup looks like its being changed for the retro fit looking iPad like bolt on. Looks like I will be moving back to Mercedes to take advantage of their advance digital dashboard technology first seen in the newly launched E Class.

BMW have got it wrong again, they always seem to be one step behind chasing the competition on everything but engines and driving dynamics. Maybe the best of Mercedes and BMW would actual deliver awesome cars.

Hmmm, not sure about BMW 'always' being behind in, for instance, dashboard setup seeing as the iDrive is often lauded as the among, if not the best, car infotainment system.

That said, Audi are moving things on a bit with their virtual cockpit system, all be it that the look it gives the dash doesn't particularly appeal to me, but that's strictly personal preference.

18 July 2016
No issues with 'performance' SUV's as such, but they'll never be 'M' cars, AMG cars, or true RS models.

I'm a BMW man at heart, and like all models in the range (with the exception of the 2-Series MPV's), but hate the dilution of the 'M'.

Years ago Alpina was the alternative to BMW M performance models, I now see them as the only true performance models in the BMW range.

18 July 2016
No issues with 'performance' SUV's as such, but they'll never be 'M' cars, AMG cars, or true RS models.

I'm a BMW man at heart, and like all models in the range (with the exception of the 2-Series MPV's), but hate the dilution of the 'M'.

Years ago Alpina was the alternative to BMW M performance models, I now see them as the only true performance models in the BMW range.

18 July 2016
As Dr Johnson once said (paraphrasing here): "Putting an M-badge on an X3 is like putting wheels on a tomato; time consuming and completely pointless".
  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

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