If the BMW M GmbH does something, the final product will score with a touch of dynamic excellence, sporty aesthetics, and precise construction.
The medium-sized Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), which is labeled standardly as X3, has also recently received a top-of-the-line composition. And to enrich the range, besides the famous BMW X3 M, the X3 M Competition was created too. The BMW X3 M is fitted with a high-speed gasoline 3-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology. The maximum power reaches 353 kW (480 hp), and the torque is 600 Nm. An even higher portion of power was added by the two-turbocharger version explicitly developed for the BMW X3 M Competition – which increased by 22 kW (30 hp) to an incredible 375 kW (510 hp)/6250 rpm, 600 torque Nm/2600 – 5950 rpm
BMW X3 M Competition (starting at 96,386 euros) looks dynamic; the exterior is enhanced by several accessories, such as a distinctive radiator grille with a high-gloss black finish, as well as black exterior mirror covers, large front air vents, dynamic sideline or a unique roof spoiler and diffuser. As standard, mudguard slots are filled with 21-inch alloy wheels in a black-and-steel glossy combination, fitted with low-profile tires. The M Sport exhaust system ends with four effect pipes in the rear bumper. Standard features include LED headlights, hi-fi audio, and ConnectedDrive, including the Professional Navigation System. The optional features offer additional personalization options, including BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive’s leading assistance systems and digital services.
Balm for the Soul
If you cross the threshold of the X3 M Competition, you will enter a high-end environment. The typical advertisement that everything is driver-oriented is highlighted by M-adds, which can be noticed in numerous emblems. Upon request, you will get a very comfortable seat cover, combining Merino leather with Alcantara (two-color) and carbon lining. You can adjust the driver’s seat electrically to the most suitable position.
The “em” steering wheel with a thicker rim is leather-covered and provides the ability to control functions directly on it. The gearbox can be manually operated with the levers below it. The digital information center in front of the driver’s eyes is clear; the information on the set of functions shows an excellent positioning and large display in the center of the dashboard. There is no doubt about premium construction and the use of top materials; the interior looks sporty-elegant and shines with excellent quality. The BMW X3 M Competition is spacious enough for a crew of four, with a luggage compartment with a reliable capacity of 550 liters behind the backs of the rear passengers.
A Dose of Technological Drive
We have already written a lot about the availability of the most powerful unit with the M designation in the previous lines. At this point, we have to add the dynamics of this great “tractor.” With launch control support, it can fire up from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, which is an excellent value for the SAV of this operating weight category (2045 kg). The unit offers plenty of power in a full working speed range and works with the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.
The used all-wheel drive M xDrive was first introduced in the BMW M5. Even in the BMW X3 M Competition, it can reliably transmit power to the road, preferring the transmission of tractive force to the rear wheels and offering the owners of this “treat” two-wheel drive modes. Centrally controlled cooperation of all-wheel drive and active M differential on the rear axle allows the distribution of engine power among all four wheels for optimum traction and directional stability.
The exclusive M chassis technology provides excellent dynamics, while the actions aimed at precise driving behavior have also affected specific body reinforcements. Electronically controlled shock absorbers are button operated and have three levels. Tailor-made kinematics and elastokinematics with double trapezoidal front suspension and multi-element rear suspension ensure the required wheel position concerning the road and provide the necessary directional stability. The M-specific steering (including the M Servotronic power steering with variable transmission) also supports precise vehicle control, and powerful M composite brakes provide sufficient deceleration. The driver can also store two kinds of vehicle settings via the iDrive menu and then call them up using one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
Plenty of Fun
This type of car is designed for motorists looking for excellence. It is a product of the department specializing in maximum driving performance. The vehicle fulfills these attributes fully, whether it affects the dynamics or reliable driving characteristics supported by the sports-tuned chassis. The engine works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission, providing a more comfortable shifting than a stylish one accompanied by sport traction. The sound of the engine coming from the exhaust pipe pleases the ear but is not too powerful. Tighter chassis is designed for better roads, where the owner can literally enjoy the vehicle. The manufacturer prescribes the combined fuel consumption according to the old standard of 10.5 liters of gasoline/100 km.
Text: Peter Stano, photo: BMW