New BMW X3M and X4M performance SUVs arrive

The X3M and X4M Competition will rock the SUV establishment with 506bhp

The launch of the first BMW X3M and X4M performance models will shake up the ‘super’ SUV class later this year, going directly up against the rival Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

Arriving at the top of the BMW X3 and X4 ranges that launched in 2018, the brace of M SUVs will get an all-new 3.0-litre straight-six engine with twin-turbochargers. It will be the most powerful engine of its kind ever fitted in a BMW X3 and X4 body, with even the entry-level version getting 476bhp. A 'Competition' badged model is expected to produce 506bhp - and it's this version we expect to get in the UK. Official fuel consumption figures of just under 27mpg, and CO2 emissions of 239g/km will put the M SUVs out of reach of most company-car drivers, with to a top 37% Benefit-in-Kind rating.

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All that power will be harnessed by BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Active M differential to help traction. The chassis has also been strengthened, its active suspension dampers recalibrated, and the steering system has been taken from the BMW M5 super-saloon.

Over the all-important 0-62mph acceleration benchmark, the X3M Competition takes 4.1 seconds, but this is still 0.3 seconds slower than the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S. Its top speed is limited to 155mph, unless an optional M Driver's Package is chosen. This increases it to 174mph and includes a driving course to help the owner 'hone their driving skills'.

Its alloy wheels measure 21-inches in diameter and exterior styling is pure M car, with gaping air intakes and deep bumpers and side skirts. A high-gloss finish for the grille, door mirror and rear spoiler are unique to the X3M Competition.

A motorsport theme is prevalent inside, where you'll find Alcantara and leather trimming the sports seats, along with a sports steering wheel and pedals and a plethora of M badges.

The BMW X3M is due to make its global debut at the Shanghai Motor Show in April, before going on sale in September. The BMW X3M Competition will cost from £77,070, while the X4M Competition starts at £79,990.

If you want a high-riding, high-performance SUV, take a look at our Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Porsche Macan reviews, along with our test of the standard BMW X3.

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