There’s a hierarchy among BMW’s most capable driving machines. Above the standard models sits the M Performance range, supplanted by the full-on M family, and finally the Competition models. The latter has typically been reserved for Bavaria’s most capable passenger cars, but the latest rumors suggest it could extend to the automaker’s crossovers as well.
Most specifically, in this case, the forthcoming X3 M and X4 M, which have yet to be released. But BMWBlog and BimmerToday draw on some recent pronouncements from the M division’s outgoing chief executive to speculate that Competition versions of either or both could be on the way… with as much as 500 horsepower, or even more.
“Due to the success of M3 and M4, we want to offer the Competition models as soon as possible in the future,” Frank van Meel reportedly declared upon the launch of the new M5 Competition. Fast forward to the preview of the X3/X4 M prototypes, where van Meel indicated that the new engine powering the performance crossovers had more room to grow beyond its expected 450-horsepower output. “This engine is going to exceed the performance by far of every X3/X4 we’ve built up to today. And so, it’s going to exceed what you know from our competitors.”
Those competitors, the enthusiast publications surmise, could include models like the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S (with 510 hp) and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (503 hp). The Porsche Macan Turbo, by comparison, offers “only” 434 hp (even with the optional Performance Package), and the new Audi RS Q5 is expected to pack around 450. But if BMW is serious about getting out in front of its most potent rivals, it’d likely need to offer at least 500 hp.
Of course any Competition model would have to include more than just a power upgrade. So we’d expect such a hardcore performance crossover to boast a stiffer suspension and other enhancements to distinguish it (or them) from the “standard” M models and help augment its capabilities even further. But we may be getting ahead of ourselves at this point. At this point we’re just looking forward to seeing the new X3 M and X4 M arrive – with or without the Competition treatment.