We’ve just had the pleasure of driving the BMW X3 M40i for a week and it’s charmed the hell out of us. In fact, I’m so smitten, I’m currently figuring out which organs are worth most while also not being absolutely vital, so I can buy one. It’s that good. There’s simply nothing it does poorly and yet it still doesn’t compromise in any one way. It’s one of BMW’s best. What’s most impressive about the X3 M40i is that, while it’s very fast and very fun, you can tell there’s so much potential left in the chassis. Which leaves the door wide open for an upcoming BMW X3 M.
Now, BMW hasn’t officially confirmed an X3 M, unfortunately. However, we’ve seen some spy photos to suggest that such a car will eventually exist. If that’s the case, the current X3 M40i gives us a taste of what the real-deal M Division product could be like. And it’s a very good taste indeed.
Under the hood of the X3 M40i is a turbocharged 3.0 liter inline-six engine, known internally as BMW’s B58 engine. It makes 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and, when mated to an eight-speed auto and xDrive all-wheel drive, is capable of hurling the X3 M40i from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That’s the exact same 0-60 mph time of the Ferrari 360 Modena from many years ago. Think about that for a second. The X3 M40i, which looks like your average suburbanite crossover on the outside, has the same 0-60 mph sprint as a bonafide supercar from a decade ago. That’s impressive.
More impressive still is the fact that it feels like it can handle so much more. It’s so stable and planted at speed and never seems to want to let up. What shocked me more than its performance during my week with it was its ability to inspire confidence. I never lost faith in its ability to handle the speed nor its ability to handle a corner. It’s just a really good sport SUV. Chuck in more power, better suspension, a lower ride height and lighter curb weight and you have a recipe for a superb machine.
While nothing has been confirmed yet, there are rumors than an upcoming X3 M could be powered by a tuned variant of the B58 engine, dubbed the S58. It’s rumored to make around 450 hp, which would make it more powerful than a BMW M3. If that’s the case, expect the 0-60 mph time to drop into the high three-second range. If the BMW X3 M40i is anything to go by, the potential X3 M will be an absolute monster.