BMW confirms its new X3 M

The BMW X3 crossover SUV is a very popular model for the Bavarian automaker and it’s been with us for a while now. (AFP Relaxnews pic)

MUNICH: Seen as a direct rival to the Porsche Macan Turbo, the X3 M will be joined by a new X4 M, which the German auto giant has also confirmed as being in its ongoing plans.

It’s been confirmed that this performance-focused version of the mid-size X3 SUV will feature a six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive, and as the manufacturer has released teaser images of the new model, we already have an idea of how it will look.

Although the X-range is rapidly expanding and is already fairly sizeable, the performance variant of the X3 will represent the first time BMW has produced a mid-sized SUV of this type.

A pretty aggressive looking style for the X3 M can be gleaned from the teaser images, and of course, there are also plenty of unofficial spy shots doing the rounds on the internet showing test mules being put through their paces covered in the usual camouflage wraps.

The bumpers look to be extended and more sculptured than with the regular X3, and there are also some extended side skirts and an aggressive rear spoiler to complete the sporty look.

BMW hasn’t gone as far as releasing the actual performance figures for the new model, but it’s likely the six-cylinder twin-turbo will develop somewhere north of 425 horsepower when it finally breaks cover.

That power will be harnessed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and the manufacturer’s selectable xDrive all-wheel drive system first introduced with the M5 sedan.

Perhaps a little surprisingly in the current climate, it’s also believed a new diesel-powered M Performance X3 is under consideration too.

If that one does manage to make it to the production line, which isn’t a certainty at this point, it would probably be powered by the 3.0-liter V-6 tri-turbodiesel currently found in the extremely impressive M50d.