Competition models offers 500 horsepower for a $7,000 premium
We were waiting for them, and now they’re officially here. After seeing spy shots and getting some teasers from BMW, the company unveiled the 2020 X3 M and X4 M cousins. Whether you pick the more practical, conventional X3 M or the wild child X4 M, you get the same beefed up M kit, as well as bigger respective price tags.
Let’s start with the performance. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter S58 turbocharged inline-six, in two states of tune. In the standard 2020 X3 M and X4 M models, it puts out 473 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. In the more expensive Competition model, BMW bumps the power to 503 horsepower, while the torque remains the same. Regardless of the state of tune, the engine mates up to an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission.
Thanks to a new M xDrive all-wheel drive system, both cars can sprint to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Upgrading to the Competiton version shaves 0.1 seconds off, for a flat 4.0-second run. The cars are limited to 155 mph by default. However, BMW can raise that limiter to 174 mph on regular models or 177 mph on Competition models, for a price. Neither car is particularly light, mind you. The 2020 X3M weighs in at 4,620 pounds, while the X4M is a scant lighter, at 4,590.
No rear-wheel drive option here
While the all-wheel drive system is lifted from the BMW M5, you can’t decouple it in the 2020 X3 M or X4 M. The system is still rear-biased, but it works in tandem with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to decide where and when to send the power. There’s an electronically-controlled multiplate clutch in the transfer case that splits the power front to rear, then the Active M Differential can vary the rear lockup between 0 and 100 percent, depending on the conditions.
2020 X3 M, X4 M and Competition models get BMW’s Adaptive M Suspension as standard equipment, as well. That means you also get one of three drive modes to choose from at any given moment. The cars are set to the Comfort setting by default, followed by Sport and Sport+. These M models also come with an ‘M Servotronic system’. That system incorporates a specially designed motor unit to deliver variable ratio steering that’s weighted differently to the standard models.
Regular 2020 X3 M and X4 M versions get 20-inch wheels with 255/45 ZR20 tires at the front and 265/45 ZR20 tires at the rear. Step up to the Competition, and you get larger, 21-inch wheels instead.
Inside, you get everything you’d expect from a BMW M model. 2020 X3 M and X4 M models get M-specific badging, those programmable buttons, carbon fiber trim and exclusive stitching everywhere. While you do get paddle shifters, you can also use the gear lever to shift through the eight-speed ‘box: Push up to downshift, and pull it toward you to upshift.
Like the standard cars, you still get a digital gauge cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment display with navigation. Apple CarPlay capability is included, although Android Auto users are still out of luck.
Naturally, whether you choose the 2020 X M or X4 M all comes down to your personal tastes. I’ve never been one for the coupe-like crossovers, so I’d go with the X3 M. That’s the least expensive route as well, as the 2020 X3 M starts at $69,900. The Competition model costs $7,000 more for both models. The X4 M, on the other hand, kicks off at $73,400.
That’s actually not much more expensive than the current BMW X3 M40i, which starts at $54,650 (the X4 M40i starts at $60,450). If you think having at least 118 more horsepower is worth the money, they’re definitely worth a look. When they arrive on July 13, they’ll square off against the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, the Porsche Macan Turbo, and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.