2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M First Look
- First M models on X3/X4 SUVs
- Boasts 473 to 503 horsepower
- 0-60 mph acceleration of 4.0 seconds
- Top speed of 174-177 mph
- Production begins in April
BMW has added M versions to its compact SUV lineup for the first time in the form of the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M. Both sport/utes are powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6 making 473 horsepower, with the ability to step up to a more powerful Competition version rated at 503 horsepower.
Blistering performance is promised from the new engine, thanks also to maximum torque of 442 lb-ft in both standard and Competition trims. BMW says the vehicles will be able to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds (X3 M) and 4.0 seconds (X4 M). Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph; however, if the M Driver’s Package is specified, it rises to 174 mph on standard M models and 177 on Competition versions.
Tuned exhaust, 8-speed automatic
As part of the M package, the 2020 X3 and X4 benefit from a tuned exhaust that reduces backpressure. Dual pipes are equipped with electronic flaps that raise the exhaust note when Sport and Sport+ modes are engaged. Competition models are equipped with a special M Sport exhaust system which further enhances performance and engine sound.
The new S58 inline-6 is mated to an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission. The gearbox can function as a full automatic or can be sequentially shifted manually with the console-mounted gear selector or steering-wheel mounted paddles. There’s a Drivelogic switch that allows for adjustable shift points. Drivelogic Mode 1 is configured for relaxed driving with smooth gear changes, while Mode 2 is designed for more aggressive shifts and shorter shift times. Mode 3 is the sportiest, with even quicker gear changes as well as holding gears in higher rev ranges, maximizing on-track performance.
All M models are equipped with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system to optimize grip. Working in concert with the Dynamic Stability Control system, the setup is biased toward rear drive, sending power forward to the front axle only when the rear wheels begin to slip. Drivers can also adjust power distribution between the axles using the M Dynamic Mode, which will keep more power at the rear wheels, allowing for controlled drifting.
Even though the chassis is geared toward performance driving, BMW says the baseline setting of the suspension allows for both high handling capability and a comfortable ride. Lightweight suspension components help reduce unsprung weight and contribute to the overall quality of the ride.
M design cues
The 2020 BMW X3 and X4 M models are distinguished by the use of large front air intakes, an aerodynamic front bumper, and black double bars in the signature twin-kidney grille, while the grille surround itself is finished in gloss black on Competition models. M-style gills are incorporated in the air breathers on the front fenders. In addition, there are special M design outside rearview mirrors, a special rear diffuser and a unique roof-mounted spoiler atop the rear hatch.
Inside, buyers will find sport seats, Vernasca leather upholstery, aluminum carbon trim pieces and an embossed M logo on the headrests. Competition models have M Sport seats in Merino leather, carbon fiber trim and the availability of Alcantara accents.
Production of the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M begins in April, with pricing to be announced closer to its on-sale date. The 2019 BMW X3 starts at $41,000, while the X4 is priced from $50,450. The top performance versions are the X3 M40i, with a sticker of $50,450 and the X4 M40i, at $60,450.
Where are the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M built?
The all-new M versions of the BMW X3 and X4 are built at the company’s U.S. assembly plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The plant is the single source for these models, which are sold globally.