BMW used to wait for later in a model’s life cycle to introduce the M Performance version but that’s not the case here. The fourth-generation X3 (G45) has arrived, and with it comes the M50 from day one. Yes, without the “i” at the end of the badge. It replaces the old M40i (G01) and gets a fresh name to highlight the bump in output. Contrary to the downsizing trend, the sportiest X3 keeps all six cylinders under the hood.

The first-ever X3 M50 retains the ubiquitous B58 engine with a mild-hybrid setup. Combining the power of the turbocharged 3.0-liter mill with that of the electric motor results in a total system output of 393 hp and 428 lb-ft (580 Nm). The combustion engine alone is good for 375 hp and 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) while the crankshaft-mounted starter generator delivers 17 hp and 147 lb-ft (200 Nm).

The X3 M50 Is More Powerful Than The X3 M40i It Replaces

We’ll remind you the defunct X3 M40i had only 355 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) on tap in Europe, so its replacement brings a notable upgrade of 38 hp and 59 lb-ft (80 Nm). At the same time, it packs an extra 11 hp and 59 lb-ft (80 Nm) over the previous-generation X3 M40i sold in the United States. This time around, there are no differences in output between the Euro and American models. That’s great to hear considering the latest “M35/M35i” cars are weaker on the Old Continent where there are stricter emissions regulations.

That e-motor is built into the eight-speed automatic transmission and helps the X3 M50 get to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds. That makes it 0.3s quicker than the retired Euro-spec X3 M40i. For the 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint, BMW quotes a 4.4-second time for the US-spec model. The acceleration performance hasn’t changed over the preceding model. Flat out, the range-topping X3 reaches an electronically governed 155 mph (250 km/h), or the same as before.

The M50 will be the only six-cylinder X3 and the sole M Performance model since the M40d will not live to see another generation. The M50 uses the most powerful inline-six ever installed by BMW in an M Lite car. It runs on the Miller cycle and has upgrades across the board. From the injection system and crankshaft to the ignition system and exhaust gas routing, the engine has been thoroughly revised. This B58B30M2 also boasts an eVANOS electrically controlled camshaft adjustment and a further optimized oil supply. BMW claims it has made tweaks to the turbocharger, and the engine now breaths through a quad-pipe exhaust system.

The Extra Power Comes With A More Aggressive Design

Beyond the changes underneath the hood, the X3 M50 gets a meaner-looking grille, separating it from the lesser X3s. The kidneys feature horizontal slats, positioned above generously sized air intakes. While cheaper versions start with 18-inch wheels, the M Performance variant gets 20-inch alloys as standard. Buyers will be able to upgrade to 21- and even 22-inch rims.

The visual upgrades continue inside where the X3 M50 features a flat-bottomed steering wheel. It has sports seats wrapped in Veganza (artificial leather) and Alcantara, with a red 12 o’clock mark. BMW managed to sneak in an M logo on the center console, ahead of the wireless charging pad. The “world’s most powerful letter” can also be found on the regular X3s with the M Sport Package.

Production Begins September 2024

Made in Spartanburg, the new BMW X3 M50 will have its market launch in the fourth quarter of 2024. In the United States, it’s going to cost $64,100, plus $1,175 in destination and handling fees. At $65,275, it commands a $2,380 premium over the X3 M40i it replaces. The US is listed as being one of the main markets, alongside Germany.

Although a full-fat X3 M is reportedly planned with the “ZA5” codename, we’re hearing it will be a separate electric model on the Neue Klasse platform rather than CLAR. Don’t expect to see it before 2028.

Source: BMW