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BMW starts detailing updated X3/X4 M Competitions

Updated BMW X3/X4 M Competitions due in Q4 along with tweaked Alpina XD3

15 Jun 2021

BMW AUSTRALIA’s relentless product onslaught is showing no signs of slowing down, the premium brand confirming this month that its bahn-storming X3/X4 M Competition twins are being upgraded as part of the current-gen X3/X4’s mid-life refresh.


Alpina Australia has also confirmed it will be bringing the updated XD3 – a high-performance diesel-powered X3 M alternative with a more bespoke luxurious feel – to local showrooms before the end of this year.


Similarly due to arrive Down Under in the fourth quarter of the year, M Division’s latest mid-sized SUVs pack 50Nm more torque than their predecessors, the extra grunt helping to shave their 0-100km/h time down to an M3-baiting 3.8 seconds.


This should come as no surprise given the high-riders share the same 375kW/650Nm twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder engine as the M3 and M4 Competition, with drive distributed to all four wheels via the same eight-speed automatic transmission.


Instead of a snarling, force-fed petrol donk, the Alpina XD3 utilises a 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo diesel good for 261kW of power and a mountainous 730Nm of torque, all of which is available between 1750-2750rpm.


These outputs are up 16kW/30N over the old model, due in part to a new 48V mild hybrid system that contributes 8kW, resulting in a claimed 0-100km/h dash of 4.9 seconds while the top speed is pegged at 254km/h.


Meanwhile, all the usual go-faster bits have been retained on the updated X3 and X4 M Competition, including the active M differential, M Sport exhaust, M adaptive suspension, M-specific dynamic stability control and M compound braking system.


To help mark the updated versions apart from their predecessors, BMW has set about tweaking the X3/X4 M Competitions’ styling, the biggest change being a larger kidney grille and slightly lower-set headlights.


The front apron has also been made more aggressive with a bigger and slightly reshaped main air intake, flanked by two smaller intakes leading down to the integrated front splitter. 


Similar changes have been made at the rear, the X3 in particular scoring new LED tail-lights and a redesigned bumper while the X4 gets a new anvil-shaped bumper insert to better match the front.


Both cars roll on redesigned 21-inch alloy wheels that BMW says saves 8kg of unsprung weight.


Befitting the updated exterior, things inside the cabin have been tweaked as well, primarily in the form of new trim inserts around the air vents and a redesigned centre console inspired by the new M3/M4.


While the local pricing and finer specification details are yet to be confirmed, standard equipment highlights will include a 12.3-inch digital cockpit, BMW M head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, configurable M modes, M leather steering wheel, M-specific gear selector and the Driving Assistant Professional package.


Alpina has built its entire business around providing softer but still-capable alternatives to BMW M cars and the XD3 is no exception, even if it does seem to be aimed more at the Audi SQ5 TDI.


Like the hi-po X3/X4 twins, the XD3 relies on an eight-speed automatic transmission to send its power to all four wheels, however the ZF unit used here has been overhauled by Alpina to better cope with the engine’s torque.


Other changes of note compared to the outgoing version include revised variable sports steering, recalibrated Performance Control (dynamic stability control) and refreshed styling which extends to the radiator grille, headlights, body kit and rear diffuser.


As usual, the German tuning house set about tinkering with various elements and components of the of the X3 M40i platform including the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, suspension (replacing it entirely with its own adaptive set-up), bespoke wheels, ECU mapping and centre console among other things.


According to Alpina Automobiles Australia sales manager Phil Jeffery, the XD3 has been the brand’s most popular model Down Under and it a perfect fit for our market.


“As a premium medium-sized SUV, the BMW Alpina XD3 is perfectly sized for this market, while its combination of six-cylinder bi-turbo diesel power and 48-volt mild hybrid system ensures instant response, strong acceleration and incredible fuel economy,” he said.


“In short, the distinctive BMW ALPINA XD3 always impresses, from the daily work commute through to weekend adventures in the city, country or coast.”


As previously mentioned, both the updated X3/X4 M Competition and the XD3 will arrive in Australia later in 2021 alongside the updated X3 range which has been bolstered further by the inclusion of the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain.


Much like the performance flagships, the standard X3/X4 range updates primary revolve around tweaked styling and interior layouts as well as the inclusion of the aforementioned PHEVs.


BMW Australia has sold 1799 X3s so far this year ending May, making it the leading light of the $60,000-plus medium SUV class with a 13.9 per cent segment share.

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