BMW X3M & X4M
After years of having to make do with warm versions of X3’s instead of a full-blown M Car, the BMW X3M andf X4M are finally here!
The X4’s looks will always be polarizing, but one thing that everyone can agree on is that it’s hardly a sedate-looking thing. The X3M is handsome and well-proportioned and features all of the M goodies that you’d expect to find on a M-fettled version of the X3.
Initially, both are being launched in Competition guise, something which makes marketing sense more than common sense, but what that means is that would-be buyers are going to have to make do with the full-blown 375 kW until the lesser, non-Competition cars make their appearance featuring 353 kW.
The source of all of this power is a newly-developed in-line six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine. A peak torque figure of 600 Nm is available from just 2 600 RPM with maximum power generated at 6 250 RPM. The redline is at 7 200 RPM. The motor also features a forged crankshaft capable of withstanding extremely high torque levels. 0-100 km/h is done in just 4.1 seconds for the Competition and 4.2 seconds for the standard vehicle and top speeds of 285 km/h for the Competition and 280 km/h for the standard X3/X4 M.
The cylinder head core of the engine is manufactured using 3D printing, a process which allows the core to be much lighter while allowing coolant ducts to be routed in such a way so as to optimize temperature management. Again, focusing on temperature management, the indirect intercooler forms part of a low-temperature circuit, along with upgraded compressors and an electronically controlled, servo-actuated wastegate. The turbochargers feed compressed air into cylinders 1, 3, 4 and 6 and are both monoscroll units.
The engine features a central radiator, as well as another two radiators positioned either side of that. An additional engine oil cooler, as well as a transmission oil cooler also do duty in the advanced powerplant with elements such as oil supply being optimized for high-performance driving. As such, the weigh-minimised oil sumo features two chambers and an integrated suction channel. This ensures that the engine is sufficiently lubricated, regardless of the lateral forces experienced during enthusiastic/track driving.
Of course, an active-type sports exhaust features and also plays its part in reducing emissions. Power is fed to BMW’s M xDrive system which we first saw in the F90 M5, through an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission with Drivelogic and three shift modes.
BMW M Adaptive damping features as standard on both Competition and non-competition models which will allow for that dual-character nature BMW M Cars have come to represent.
BMW X3M & X4M in South Africa
The BMW X3/X4 M Competition will both arrive within the fourth quarter of 2019 with non-Competition models to follow at a later date. Pricing is yet to be confirmed.