BMW is produce oone the its fastest SUVs to date.
The German has revealed that it will unleaseh its M-division on the next-generation X3, due in 2018, in a direct response to a growing demand for go-fast SUVs.
Set to be called the X3 M, the performance SUV would join the X5 M and X6 M as the thrid model in the brand's M-badged SUV range.
Power will come from a six-cylinder turbocharged engine - likely the same engine used in the M3 and M4 - the X3 M will compete with the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG GLC63.
While it would have less power than the 375kW produced by the GLC63 - the M3 currently makes up to 331kW (or 368kW for the limited run GTS) - engineers are expected to focus on a potent power to weight ratio and lithe track-tuned dynamics to make the X3 M appealing.
Acceleration to 100km/h would likely take less than five seconds, bringing a new level of performance to the model BMW says will be its best seller in Australia.
BMW says it is still deciding whether to green light the X3 M, but the product manager for the new model, Dr Roland Meier, all but confirmed the project will happen.
“It is not confirmed and not announced, nothing, but it is possible in terms of the technology,” says Meier, adding that it is under serious consideration and BMW is close to making a decision.
Given the demand for performance SUVs there seems a ready market for the first M version of the X3.
BMW Australia boss Marc Werner CEO Marc Werner says an X3 M “makes perfect sense” for fleshing out the M range and also adding to the appeal of the X3.
“We’ve done extremely well with the introduction of the X5 M as well as the introduction of the X6 M, so we believe there is more room to grow in the [SUV] segment and we are ready.”
If an X3 M were to happen it’s likely BMW would use the same core components to create an X4 M, which uses a different body.
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