Rejoice! BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M are here!

At the present time the world seems a bit short on sporty, and even high performance, utility vehicles, as known as SUVs or CUVs, as known as jacked up wagons. Don’t worry, BMW is here to save the day! The new high performance versions of the X3 and X4 are here! They’re unimaginatively called X3 M and X4 M. M, of course, is BMW’s now slightly tarnished high performance designation.

For those who don’t know, X3 is the SUV that fits between the X1 and the X5. X4 is the pricier and less functional hatchback-y version of the X3 which fits between the X2 and X6. There is also the new X7 but it does not have a pricier and less functional hatchback-y version of itself called the X8. Not yet, at least. Got it? Good.

In their press release, BMW includes pictures of the cars at the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park and in the desert. That is odd as I can’t imagine that anyone will drive either of these vehicles to a desert or a race track, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

In lieu of regurgitating the press release, I chose to post some excerpts from it instead. You know, like Mr. Skin, I’m skipping to the good parts.

Powered by the high-revving, 473 hp S58 3.0 liter 6-cylinder M TwinPower Turbo engine… []. For those who want the ultimate in performance, both the X3 M and X4 M will be available in 503 hp Competition versions.

Holy toots, because M wasn’t expensive, powerful, exclusive, or stupid enough, there is the COMPETITION version. Surly it includes a driving lesson from Alex Zenardi.

The new M models will be built at Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, the home of X vehicle competency for the BMW Group. Plant Spartanburg is the largest BMW production plant in the world, employing 11,000 people and is supported by 300 suppliers across the U.S. 70% of the vehicles produced at Plant Spartanburg are exported overseas making BMW the largest exporter of vehicles from the U.S. by value.

Obligatory Made in USA statement.

forged crankshaft

rev to a 7,200 rpm redline

two mono-scroll turbochargers

extremely efficient mixing of fuel and air

peak torque of 442 lb.-ft. between 2,600 and 5,600 rpm and between 2,600 and 5,950 rpm in the BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition models

The top speed of all models is electronically limited to 155 mph. If the optional M Driver’s Package is specified, the limit rises to 174 mph for the X3 M and X4 M and up to 177 mph for the Competition models.

Just some random things above here. Yawn.

engine’s track-tested cooling system has been designed to work with its increased levels of performance and includes one large central radiator and two smaller radiators positioned on either side of it.

Those of you who have ever owned a BMW with more 80,000 miles on it should chuckle at this statement.

Electrically controlled flaps help to produce the rich engine note for which BMW M cars are renowned. The nature of the soundtrack takes its cues from the selected engine mode; standard setting, SPORT or SPORT+. Standard specification for the Competition models includes the M Sport exhaust system, which gives the engine a pleasingly sonorous tone, especially when it is being pushed hard and at high revs. Its continuously variable exhaust flaps create a particularly broad range of sound.

Yea, it’s got a fancy muffler.

The press release went on about the transmission, the transmission shift modes, something about the AWD system, stability system and its 20 settings, and some other crap.

The first-ever BMW X3 M, BMW X4 M and Competition models are equipped with the standard Adaptive M Suspension, whose electronically controlled dampers ensure both excellent everyday comfort and extremely direct contact with the road

It has shocks. There was something about fancy electrical steering, too. I’m sure the owner of an E36 M3 will feel right at home.

The drilled, inner-vented brake discs measure 395 millimeters (15.6 inches) in diameter at the front and 370 millimeters (14.6 inches) at the rear. The compound design combines the cast-iron brake discs with aluminum hubs, giving the brakes excellent feel, a low weight and increased thermal stability.

I am shocked and disappointed that carbon ceramic rotors are not available, not even on the Competition models, which clearly NEED them.

The overall package also consists of model-specific M light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design and mixed size high-performance tires (non-runflat) to match.

Of course, because run-flats suck. No word if a spare tire is included or if you’re just hosed when you get a flat.

Characteristic BMW X model proportions, trademark M design features.
The exterior design of the first-ever BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M takes the muscular proportions shared by all BMW X models, adds a long wheelbase, short overhangs, slightly hexagonal wheel arches, crisp lines and clean-cut surface contouring, and completes the picture with a sprinkling of tell-tale M features. Alongside the large air intakes and aerodynamically optimized front bumper, both models also sport a BMW kidney grill with black double bars. On the Competition models, the BMW kidney grill’s surround is finished in High-gloss Black.

The signature M gills are integrated into the Air Breathers on the front fenders. The exterior mirrors’ special M design brings a reduction in aerodynamic drag. A model-specific rear diffuser, flanked by a pair of exhaust tailpipes on either side, distinguishes the individually designed rear bumpers of both new M models.
Atop the first-ever BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M models’ rear hatch is an M-specific roof spoiler. The exterior color palette for the four high-performance models set them apart from the standard versions of the BMW X3 and BMW X4. The front and rear bumpers, the wheel arches and the edges of the side skirts are painted in body color, replacing the usual black bordering.

There is a choice of seven exterior colors for the firs-ever BMW X3 M, BMW X4 M and Competition models, including the new shade Toronto Red metallic and – also exclusive to M cars – Donington Grey metallic. The BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition models come with a number of distinctive design features to bring out their exclusive character, including a High-gloss Black finish for the BMW kidney grill surround, exterior mirror caps and M gills (and the rear spoiler of the Sports Activity Coupe).

Standard equipment on the Competition models includes 21-inch M light-alloy wheels in polished Black and an M Sport exhaust system with tailpipes in Black Chrome, along with specially designed door sill plates and model badging. The optional M Carbon exterior package (expected to be available from August 2019), will feature design elements in carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the front air intakes, the air blades in the front apron, the rear diffuser and the exterior mirror caps. On the BMW X4 M and BMW X4 M Competition, these elements will be joined by a CFRP rear spoiler.

M-style cockpit design, versatile interior.
Standard interior appointments for the first-ever BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M includes sports seats, Vernasca leather upholstery in a choice of Black or Oyster with an embossed M logo at the top of the backrests, and interior trim strips in Aluminum carbon structure. The BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition, on the other hand, come as standard with M Sport seats in extended Merino leather upholstery that can be specified in either Black or bi-color choices in Sakhir Orange/Black or Adelaide Grey. These are optionally available for the BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M, too. All models are fitted with knee pads on the sides of the center console as standard. Highlights on the list of optional extras include BMW Individual extended Merino leather upholstery in Ivory White and Tartufo (only in conjunction with the M Sport seats) and Carbon Fiber interior trim strips. Extended Merino leather upholstery in the new Midrand Beige/Black color choice with Alcantara applications is available exclusively for the BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition models.

The unmistakable M-style cockpit design additionally includes an M-specific instrument cluster, an M leather steering wheel and a restyled M selector lever. The BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition bring further exclusive touches to the interior with their M Sport seats and the model nameplate on the center console. Although the interior appears firmly focused on a sporty driving experience, it still retains the versatility for which BMW X models are known. Both models come as standard with a 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest, enabling luggage capacity to be increased when needed.

TL:DR. If you read it, could you please tell me what this says in two sentences?

With their signature red needles and white illumination, the classic circular instruments in the black panel instrument cluster are a classic characteristic of BMW M models. M-specific display information also contributes to the cockpit’s racing flavor.

:eye-roll emoji:

The wide range of driver assistance systems available for the first-ever BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M offers important comfort and safety benefits. Standard equipment consists of Cruise Control with braking function along with Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, while Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and distance information and the Driving Assistant (including Speed Limit Info, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Collision Prevention, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning) can be specified as options.

Driving Assistant Plus extends the helping hand even further. Additional elements of this package include the Steering and lane control assistant, the Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, the evasion aid and the Crossroads warning, Wrong-way warning and Front Cross Traffic Alert.

The Ultimate Self-Driving Machine.

For comfortable maneuvering into parking spaces: Parking Assistant Plus.
The function of many other assistance systems that make life easier for the driver when maneuvering into parking spaces has been further enhanced. The first-ever BMW X3 M and X4 M are equipped with standard Park Distance Control (PDC), which brings sensors at the front and rear of the vehicle.

The Parking Assistant Plus in the BMW X3 M and X4 M enables automatic selection and use of parallel parking spaces. These parking spaces are detected by ultrasonic sensors as the vehicle passes them. The Parking Assistant function is activated at the touch of a button on the center console. The system then takes care of the acceleration, braking, steering and gear changes necessary to maneuver into the space.

There are also parking assisting things. Oddly, it does not say if the new X3 M and X4 M have rear view mirrors, which is what I’ve been using as a parking assist for decades.

Seriously, if you have trouble parking a BMW X3 you shouldn’t be driving.

Other specs: these weight around 4600 pounds and are bigger than the original X5 in every dimension.

M squared button. For when more M is needed.

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10 responses to “Rejoice! BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M are here!”

  1. Lokki Avatar

    Quite seriously, how many different models does BMW sell now?
    I can remember there are 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 7 series and then an M3 and and M5.

    I knew there was an X3 and an X5, and I’ve learned from this article there’s an X4. And there there is the Z …. my brain hurts and I have to stop now.

    1. Kamil K Avatar
    2. fede Avatar

      and the new 8 series (or is it just the M8?), and the 2 series active tourer (the fwd one), and the X1…

    3. outback_ute Avatar

      Surely at some point the law of diminishing returns must kick in, and extra models become unprofitable. Eg if you want a small-medium 5-door liftback, how tall do you want it? 4-series Gran Coupe, 3-series GT or X4?

      I’m not sure what the point of having both the X1 and X2 is either.

  2. ptschett Avatar

    Hot take: “they made a sedan and a wagon based on that enormous coupe they race in WEC and IMSA?!?”

  3. Maymar Avatar

    I wonder if anyone who ever buys one of these ever ponders the absurdity of buying a performance vehicle with extra ground clearance, and massive fragile wheels which simultaneously compensate for the extra ground clearance, and nullify most of the benefits of extra ground clearance. Or do buyers just accept that a small crossover is What You Buy, and BMW finds new, fantastic ways to separate their customers from their money, rather than trying to make the best possible all-weather practical driver’s car?
    I’m just gonna go ahead and blame this on late-stage capitalism.

  4. Smaglik Avatar

    You all can piss on these all you want, but I think it’s pretty cool. Yeah, the idea of maintaining one of these out of warranty is mind boggling, but if you’re relegated to one vehicle that must perform snow and forest duty, you’re an enthusiast, and you have the means, it’s a pretty sweet ride… Not just this BMW, but the other ones that compete in this space.

    Even as much of a BMW enthusiast as I am, if I am going to spend that kind of money though, it would be a late model land cruiser.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      I’ve owned seven BMWs. And I see why these X3 and X4 Ms exist.
      Your last sentence shares our feelings.
      Also, I’d take the TrackHawk over either of these… they’ll probably be similar in price, too.

      1. Smaglik Avatar

        When my x3 soils the mattress, I’ll be in the LC market. Doesn’t look like that’ll be anytime soon though so I have plenty of needed time to save up for it.

  5. Monkey10is Avatar

    So what exactly does that weird red ‘m-squared’ paddle do?