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BMW confirms X3 M, X4 M performance SUVs

High-revving turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine to power BMW X3 M, X4 M

10 Sep 2018

BMW M has confirmed that it will soon offer a pair of performance mid-size SUVs, with the X3 M wagon and X4 M coupe employing a “newly-developed” six-cylinder engine that could also power the next-generation M3 and M4 sportscars.
According to BMW M, the inline unit features “M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics”, with additional details kept under wraps ahead of its full reveal.
The engine in question is expected to be the rumoured S58 unit – a development of the B58 used in 265kW/500Nm X3 M40i and X4 M40i, among other BMW models, and successor to the S55 found in the current-generation M3 and M4.
Crucially, the S58 is likely to follow the S55 with its 3.0-litre capacity and twin turbochargers but should stand out with its higher standard power and torque outputs.
The rumour mill suggests the S58 will develop more grunt than the 331kW/550Nm M3 Competition and M4 Competition, potentially as much as 355kW in its own mooted Competition form.
Either way, BMW M has said that the X3 M and X4 M will employ a model-specific version of its M xDrive all-wheel-drive system that debuted in the M5 sportscar and could be destined for the M3 and M4.
BMW M says M xDrive provides “constant supreme and performance-oriented transfer of engine power to all four wheels”, while it also “guarantees maximum traction and loss-free distribution of drive torque for achieving extremely-dynamic handling characteristics”.
The X3 M and X4 M will also benefit from an active M rear-axle differential that helps to take “cornering dynamics, agility and precision” to another level, according to BMW M.
There will be no mistaking the X3 M and X4 M as ‘regular’ models, thanks to their large front air intakes, signature side mirrors, four exhaust tailpipes and tailgate-mounted rear spoiler.
While BMW Group Australia product communications manager Adam Davis was unable to confirm to GoAuto a launch date for the X3 M and X4 M, the pair is expected to enter showrooms next year, possibly in the second half.
“Details will be announced as they become available,” he said. “We will of course be putting our hand up when production starts.”
As such, the X3 M and X4 M are on track for an international debut at a motor show later this year, either at Paris in October or Los Angeles in November/December.
When they head Down Under, the X3 M and X4 M will take on Mercedes-AMG’s 375kW/700Nm GLC63 S Wagon and Coupe, which are priced from $164,530 and $171,530 before on-road costs respectively.
Despite the threat of Affalterbach’s duo, BMW M president Frank van Meel feels confident that the X3 M and X4 M will make an immediate impact in their respective segments upon going on sale.
“With their M-specific performance characteristics, the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M will set benchmarks in terms of dynamics in their respective vehicle segment,” he said.
The X3 M and X4 M were publicly revealed in camouflaged prototype form over the weekend at the DTM racing event held at the infamous Nurburgring track in Germany – the circuit where the finishing touches will be put on BMW M’s latest two models.

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