How Fast Is the X3 M?

Car and Driver has published its instrumented test of the X3 M, and what’s likely to be BMWs new most popular M model is even faster than expected. Advertised by BMW as being able to sprint from zero to 60 in as few as four seconds flat for a Competition model, the X3 M comes with BMW’s newest M engine, the S58 inline-six, and routes power to all four wheels using a model-specific version of M xDrive.

The next-gen M3 (and M4) will likely boast a nice advantage thanks to a decreased footprint while gaining the advantage of M xDrive, but the X3 M SAV and its SAC X4 M stablemate remain remarkably quick. According to Car and Driver’s testing, the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition logged nearly identical performance, with both models hitting 60 from a dead stop in a physics-defying 3.3 seconds.

For those keeping score, that 3.3 seconds is faster than what the magazine recorded for the since-replaced F10 M5, and it’s also faster than the 3.6-second G30 M550i xDrive, which has now been superseded by a version with a new 523-horsepower engine. The quarter mile comes and goes in just 11.6 seconds, at which point the X3 M Competition has achieved a trap speed of 119 mph.

As we suspected when the X3 and X4 M Competition were first announced earlier this year, those numbers are also good enough to best the most potent competitors. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio takes 3.4 seconds to hit 60 and covers the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds at 117 mph. The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S can hit 60 in the same 3.3 seconds as the BMWs, but is a hair slower over the quarter mile, covering the distance in 11.7 seconds at 119 mph.

There is still the task of lapping the Nürburgring faster than the Stelvio, which did it in a neck-snapping seven minutes and 51.7 seconds, something the Germans no doubt have their eye on besting, but the performance wars continue to heat up in a new segment, and the X3 and X4 M, along with their 500-horsepower Competition variants, are among the fastest SUVs you can buy right now.

Of course, if you’re like the rest of us, you can slide into an X3 M40i for much less money, and still sprint to 60 in 4.4 seconds.—Alex Tock

[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]

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