BMW’s plan to inject M Performance variants into each and ever model line is still in its infancy. The only cars to bear the “M Performance” name are the BMW M240i, M760i and X4 M40i. However, as new generations of model lines debut, more and more of these M Performance cars will make their debut. One that will be debuting quite soon will be the BMW X3 M40i and it’s just been caught testing, wearing considerable camouflage. We don’t own the spy shots, but they can be found here.
Based on BMW’s new CLAR (Cluster Architecture) platform, the new BMW X3 will be longer, wider and roomier on the inside, while also being lighter and stiffer. It will also come with new engine options, ranging from the new B48 2.0 liter turbo-four to the B58 3.0 liter turbo I6. The latter will likely be what’s powering the upcoming X3 M40i variant.
This tester is likely to be that very M Performance car, due to its dual exhaust pipes flanking either side of the rear bumper. Expect horsepower to be in between the 355 hp of the X4 M40i to about 400 hp, but likely closer to the former. That engine will be mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but a manual option is probably unlikely. xDrive all-wheel drive is also almost guaranteed to be standard.
We’re excited about the prospect of a hot-X3, as we’ve always thought the little sporty crossover was capable of more power and performance. The X4 M40i is more fun to drive than crossovers really have any right to be, so if BMW is planning on doing the same with the X3, color us intrigued.[Source: Autocar]