The M versions of the 2020 BMW X3 and X4 are not for the faint of heart

The BMW M Division is bustling with activity. If you’re new to the world of BMW cars, the M word is not to be taken lightly. Thus the reason why the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M are the most exciting additions to the small luxury SUV niche.

However, both vehicles are not for the faint of heart. If you think family SUVs are supposed to be dull and uninspiring while still having the guts to get the job done, you’re wrong.

The M versions of the BMW X3 and X4 are engineered to add some sugar and spice into an otherwise bland segment.

M means magnificent power

2020 BMW X4 M

You don’t believe us? Let’s take a close look at the 2020 BMW M8. Having the M symbol means a serious power upgrade over the regular 8-Series. This means a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 mill with 600-horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

On the other hand, the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M are equipped with a new 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six motor. Interestingly enough, both the M versions of the new X3 and X4 are among the first to receive BMW’s new MS58 inline-six motor.

The mill is built using a forged crankshaft to better handle extreme levels of torque. It also has a closed-deck design in the engine block to ensure better reliability under duress. This also enables the motor to handle higher combustion pressures. BMW added a pair of mono-scroll turbochargers to sweeten the deal, while Valvetronic and Double-VANOS handle the variable-valve timing and camshaft timing in the hi-tech mill.

After all is said and done, the new inline-six churns out 473-horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, the latter of which is accessible from 2,600 and 5,600 rpm. This means the pull of a diesel engine at full chat, and all without needing to floor the throttle.

This means the 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M can rush from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1-seconds. The top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph. Both versions get an eight-speed automatic with paddle-shifters.

You can order the Competition package in the new BMW X3 M and X4 M

Do you think BMW is done with just 473-horsepower? The 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M are available with the Competition Package. Admittedly, the words ‘competition’ and ‘SUV’ are not meant to be mentioned in the same breath unless talking about Icelandic rock-crawlers or extreme off-roaders.

But BMW has a different competition in the mind: the racetrack. Again, why you would race an SUV on the track is beyond us, but it’s good to know that you can in the BMW X3 M and X4 M Competition.

With this, you get a higher-tuned version of the twin-turbocharged inline-six. The result is 503-horsepower and the same 442 pound-feet of torque. But this time, peak torque is accessible between 2,600 and 5,950 rpm. These changes are enough to propel the X3 M and X4 M from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0-seconds. Choosing the M Driver’s package option changes the top speed to 174 mph in the regular M models and 177 mph in Competition trim.

Both the X4 M and X3 M have standard all-wheel-drive

But it’s not an ordinary AWD system. BW is kind enough to equip the X3 M and X4 M with an M xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. This system channels all of the power to the rear wheels for a sportier driving feel. The system will only transfer power to the front as it detects loss of traction in the rear wheels.

The new BMW X3 M and X4 M are designed to look the part

2020 BMW X3 M

The M versions of the new BMW X3 and X4 receives updated styling cues to set them apart from the regular X3 and X4. Both vehicles get standard 20-inch polished Orbit Grey wheels while 21-inch rollers with a jet black finish are optional. The M models also get a blacked out kidney grille and air breathers over the front fenders.

The interior receives new sports seats wrapped in black or oyster Vernasca leather with embossed M logos for added machismo. The dashboard gets aluminum carbon trim while carbon fiber trim pieces are optional. Also standard are a leather M steering wheel, a new shift lever, Apple CarPlay, and a navigation system.