It’s been almost a year since the third generation BMW X3 premiered, and there’s still no full-blown M version available.
But that’s about to change, as the Munich-based car marque continues to test prototypes of the range-topping SUV in various landscapes, spending a considerable amount of time on the Nurburgring.
The famous German track is where the latest test model was spied, and the placement of the vinyl stickers tells us what to expect, from a visual standpoint at least. New front and rear bumpers, larger and with a more aggressive styling than the ones found on the X3 M40i, updated side skirts and roof-mounted spoiler and large rims.
Beneath the skin, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and Audi RS Q5 challenger benefits from a sportier suspension, updated steering and better brakes, in addition to other work like tuned electronics and launch control.
Some say that it will be powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, codenamed S58. It’s believed to be based on the B58 unit that powers the 40i models, and could churn out as much as 460PS (454hp / 338kW) in the new X3 M.
This will make it some 100PS (99hp / 74kW) more powerful than the lesser M40i and will probably allow it to do the 0-100km/h (0-62mph) run in the low 4-seconds. Top speed will probably be limited to 250km/h (155mph) as standard, or 280km/h (174mph) when fitted with the optional M Driver’s Package.