The 2018 BMW X3 M40i has been revealed, with BMW’s mid-size SUV being warmed up quite a bit and now sits as the flagship of X3 range. It’s also the quickest X3 to date as well.
The X3 M40i doesn’t just get a boost in power, but there’s suspension and brake upgrades, plus interior and exterior enhancements, making it quite the delectable piece of transport.
What you need to know is that the biggest changes happen under the bonnet.
BMW’s sonorous B58 straight-six turbocharged petrol has been given an M-division once-over, helping it produce a healthy 265kW (355bhp) and 500Nm (368lb-ft) of torque, with the sound being enhanced by an M-division exhaust setup.
Thanks to the extra grunt over the standard X3, the M40i will sprint to 100kmh in 4.8 seconds. And yes, it has launch control – just the thing you need to get the kids’ stomachs going.
BMW says that peak power happens from 5,500-6,500rpm while peak torque kicks in at 1,520-4,800 rpm giving it plenty of go across the rev-range. Fuel economy is pretty good, too – 8.9L/100km on the combined ADR cycle.
Helping both economy and acceleration is the fabulous ZF eight-speed automatic (with paddle shifters, naturally) which is pressed into service again in the M40i.
Power then runs to the “X Drive” all-wheel-drive system, which BMW has has been tuned by the boffins at M. Drive can be split in any number of ways, with the company stating that it’s a “fully variable” system, able to send drive to the wheel that needs it most.
At the rear, there’s an M Sport Differential which splits the torque between the rear wheels by using the stability control system – torque vectoring, in other words.
The X3 M40i is suspended using adaptive dampers, which allow the firmness to be altered through the drive select button on the centre console.
Stopping the whole shebang are M Sport brakes, using larger discs and calipers; you’ll pick them from the blue calipers.
M Sport brakes, with trademark blue-painted calipers, offer a larger braking surface than standard for superior stopping power. These sit behind 21-inch wheels, running different sizes: 245/40/R21 up front and 275/35/R21 at the rear.
Outside you can tell it’s a bit more overt than a standard X3 by its body kit, including the rear “wing” as BMW calls it, attached to the roof, while dark chrome exhaust tips give it a more purposeful look.
Inside there are sill panels that shout the model designation, and at night there’s a cool glow courtesy of ambient lighting.
The front seats are electrically adjustable (for the lumbar at least) and they’re heated. There’s an M steering wheel, the instrument panel is covered in BMW’s “Sensatec” material, a 10.25-inch touch screen sits up front, while sound is taken care of by a 16-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo.
BMW’s iDrive6 is fitted, and the instruments are displayed on a 12.3-inch screen.
- 21-inch M light alloy wheels
- Adaptive M Suspension
- M Sport differential
- M Aerodynamics Package
- M Sport Brake
- M Sport Differential
- ‘Vernasca’ Leather Upholstery
- 16-speaker harman/kardon Surround Sound system
- Navigation system Professional with 10.25-inch touch screen display
- BMW Connected+
- BMW ConnectedDrive Services including real-time traffic information, Intelligent Emergency Call, TeleServices, Remote Services and ConnectedDrive Freedom including Concierge Services
- Length – 4,716mm
- Width – 1,897mm
- Height – 1,676mm
- Wheelbase – 2,864mm
- Load capacity – 550L (seats up) / 1,600L (seats down)