There have been more than a few rumors surrounding a potential X3 M, and none have resulted in anything more than vaporware. Today, a report from Germany’s Focus.de claims that it has the details surrounding the next-gen X3, including the stoked-up M variant.
According to the report, the X3 M will roll into showrooms with a modded version of Bimmer’s 3.0-liter straight-six engine. This unit will inject around 500 horsepower into the small crossover and out to all four wheels. There are no official performance specs available but look for the X3 M to shave as many as two seconds from the X3 xDrive35i’s 5.3-second 0-to-60 time. Top speed, like most rodded Bimmers, will be set at 155 mph.
Of course, the X3 M will feature all of the required M bits inside and out, like sports seats, M badges, aggressive bodywork, a lower stance, massive rollers with sticky rubber, and more. Unfortunately, none of this is confirmed in the report.
The report goes on to highlight some of the changes coming for the next-generation X3. These include a slightly larger body to create a larger gap between it and the X1. Despite this added size, the X3 will drop about 100 kilos (220 pounds) in this new generation. This is likely thanks to the added use of high-strength steel and aluminum.
As expected, the X3 will have a pile of non-M versions available too. The report points out that diesel power will be BMW’s global focus for the X3, and its range of oil-burners will include a 160-horsepower 16d, a 195-horse 20d, and a 240-pony 25d. If I were a betting man, I would say we will see just one of these—likely the 20d or 25d—here in the U.S. There will also be gasoline four- and six-cylinder engines that range from 195 to 380 horses, and a 40e plug-in hybrid.
Now to address the pink elephant in the room in regards to the X3’s powertrain. Yes, it will remain a rear-wheel-drive setup with optional all-wheel drive and not go the transverse route that its little bro, the X1, went.
Look for the next-gen X3 to debut sometime in 2018 in its non-M garb. The X3 M should launch about a year after the lower-level models.
Stay tuned for more info.