News about a possible BMW X3 M and, consequently, a BMW X4 M has been going around for quite some time now. And while at first they seemed too good to be true, they are turning out to be the real deal as the F97 X3 M was spotted out testing on the Nurburgring on a number of occasions. The video below is yet another one showing the high-performance SUV putting its new engine to the test on the famous track.
Even though the codename used for it might suggest the new M SUV will be using an old platform, the future X3 will be built atop the new generation CLAR architecture. The G01 X3 will be coming out using more lightweight materials than ever, promising a drop in weight that should be even more exacerbated by the M division, for the top of the range model.
Under the hood of the X3 M will probably reside a version of the BMW S55 3-liter straight six twin-turbo engine but the power output is unknown yet. If the engine will be using the water injection system of the BMW M4 GTS, the power output could reach 500 HP. However, if enough weight is shaved by using massive amounts of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials, the power could be kept around 450 HP.
Of course, other interesting changes will be done under the sheet metal and the most important one might revolve around the transmission. The same question asked about the future BMW M5 comes to light: will BMW develop a new dual-clutch gearbox that works with all-wheel drive or will it used an 8-speed ZF unit as it does on the X5 M and X6 M models?
By all accounts and purposes, the bigger brothers of the X3 M provide plenty of performance without dual-clutch units and the X3 could follow in their footsteps, but the M5 could be using a new system, that could be shared throughout the rest of the range. Sources are very tight lipped about this issue, so we can’t really provide an insight into what solution will be adopted in the end.
Another interesting thing to note is that in all spy shots and videos of X3 M cars, the testers are wearing Schmidt Racing wheels which is a rather odd option to be honest. Old BMW prototypes used to wear aftermarket wheels while being prepared for production and seeing them used once again, might point out to a very special setup being prepared for the first proper M car in the X3 range.