What is it?
The latest member of BMW’s rapidly expanding performance line-up, which just so happens to be a mid-sized SUV rather than a saloon, coupé or convertible.
This, the first X3 to ever receive the full M division treatment, gets the adjustable all-wheel-drive system last seen in the M5 super-saloon and an all-new straight-six engine that is also destined for the next-generation M3 in 2020.
If the ‘B58’ motor powering the X3 M40i can be considered M-lite, the M Competition’s ‘S58’ engine is very much the real deal. It’s a near-ground-up redesign, with a forged crankshaft, twin monoscroll turbochargers, indirect intercooler and lightweight cylinder head helping produce a peak 503bhp and 443lb ft - more power and torque than any six-pot yet unleashed by M division.
Having already experienced the X3 M Competition and its slightly sleeker, slightly pricier X4 M Competition sibling on road and track in New York, we’ve now introduced one to British roads for the first time.