The third of generation BMW’s X3 crossover SUV isn’t far from its debut.
We’ve been spying prototypes for over a year but recently a very different prototype appeared on our radar.
This new prototype is for a high-performance variant that according to our sources will be badged an X3 M. Yes, BMW’s M division is finally developing a dedicated performance version of the X3.
In this video from YouTuber Automotive Mike you’ll see an X3 M prototype doing some test laps on the Nürburgring. It already looks very fast, and the sound emanating from its exhaust tips is impressive.
2019 BMW X3 M spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Generating that sound is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6, with output either matching or exceeding the 425 horsepower of the M3/M4. The standard transmission should be a 7-speed dual-clutch and drive should be to all four wheels via a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system.
Compared to prototypes for the regular X3, the X3 M tester is wider, lower and fitted with larger wheels, tires and brakes. It also sports a quad-tip exhaust system at the rear.
The new X3 is expected on the market next year as a 2018 model. The X3 M should trail the arrival of the regular X3 by about a year.
Competition will include the Porsche Macan Turbo, a new GLC63 from Mercedes-AMG, and possibly RS Q5 and F-Pace SVR models from the respective Audi Sport and Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations divisions.