Is This The First-Ever BMW X3 M We’re Looking At?

Reports about the X3 getting the M treatment appear to be true, if the latest test mule we’ve scooped is any indication.

In the two previous iterations, BMW has shied away from ordering the M Division to take care of its compact SUV, yet it won’t leave its rivals from Ingolstadt and Stuttgart have the market to their own.

Code-named F97, the prototype that has been scooped features big air intakes on the front bumper, side skirts, a roof spoiler, a rear diffuser, quad exhausts (our photographer changed the contrast on the outlets to let us better see the quad pipes in some of the photos) and what looks like 19- or 20-inch rims with tires to match.

It makes sense, then, to assume that this is going to be Munich’s answer to the upcoming Audi RS Q5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC, though it’s possible it’s a mule of another, unknown version.

The new X3 (internal code G01) will launch next year as a 2018MY, and the first-ever X3 M is expected to follow soon after, probably spawning a similar variant of its X4 coupe sibling, too.

True to M fashion, it will feature an appropriately tuned chassis with sports suspension, quicker steering and large brakes, though the powertrain is anyone’s guess. So far, it was thought that the twin-turbo inline six petrol unit from the M3/M4, with anything between 400 and 500 HP, would do the job.

The recently launched quad-turbo diesel that puts out 394 HP and, more importantly, 760 Nm (561 lb-ft) of torque is a credible option though. After all, if it’s good for nearly 4.5 seconds in the (much larger) 750d xDrive that’ll be the first to get it, it should work just fine on the much more nimble SUV.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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