The first official showing of the highly anticipated BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M took place today on the Nurburgring, just ahead of this weekend’s DTM stage. BMW took the two SUVs out for a couple of laps to show us what to expect in a few months, when they will actually be unveiled. Unfortunately, the two cars were under heavy camouflage so we can’t really see how they look like. Nevertheless, BMW did confirm a couple of rumors.
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One of them was the new engine. BMW hasn’t confirmed the specs or the codename, but they did say “the technological highlight of the BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M is a newly developed straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics.”
That’s the S58 engine, ladies and gentlemen, an M-tuned version of the B58 3-liter straight six mill, with at least 450 HP at its disposal. And while that may not seem like a huge improvement for some, the new engine is important not just for the X3 and X4 models but also for other M cars to be launched in the future.
However, the bigger news seems to be the confirmation of the M xDrive transmission which is set to be used by the BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M models. This was probably a bigger question that was left unanswered until today. BMW confirmed it by saying: “part of the development process is the specific tuning of the M xDrive technology introduced for the first time in the new BMW M5. This technology is deployed in the BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M to ensure constant supreme and performance-oriented transfer of engine power to all four wheels.”
That means the X3 M and X4 M models will become the first M SUVs to use the new M xDrive system which allows you to basically choose where the power goes. The X5 M and X6 M models never had this tricky transmission available and we can only be happy BMW decided to offer it to its newest M cars. This will make the upcoming super-SUVs probably the only ones in the world which can send all of their power to the rear axle while on the track.
BMW M president, Frank van Meel, said: “With their M specific performance characteristics, the BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M will set benchmarks in terms of dynamics in their respective vehicle segment.”
The official launch just can’t seem to come soon enough.