New 2021 BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M blast in with 503bhp

The BMW X3 M and X4 M SUV duo get a midlife makeover that sees both get a fresh face, more tech and even more performance

The BMW X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition have both been refreshed for 2021 with revamped styling and even more performance. The updated fast SUVs will reach the UK market this August, with the X3 M Competition costing from £85,100 and the X4 M Competition on sale from £86,860.

The headline news is, despite producing no more power from the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine, the 503bhp X3 M and X4 M duo produce 650Nm of torque – 50Nm more than before. 

The extra pulling power has had a transformative effect on performance. Combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, both the X3 M and X4 M are capable of a 0-62mph time of just 3.8 seconds – 0.3sec quicker than the previous model. Top speed remains electronically limited at 155mph, although opting for M Driver's Package takes the limiter up to 180mph.

To help it produce the extra shove down low in the rev range, the pair of fast SUVs have adopted the forged lightweight crankshaft from the latest BMW M3 and M4, plus a new cylinder head that's claimed to reduce weight and internal friction. A new intercooler for the turbos, plus a revised wastegate, optimised injection system and variable valve control complete the engine updates.

BMW’s M-division has added a third engine oil cooling system and a separate transmission oil cooler to manage the spikes in temperature associated with track driving. The pair of BMW M SUVs also have a new standard variable M Sports exhaust that's claimed to inject a 'motor racing touch' into the driving experience at high engine revs.

Designers have updated the X3 M and X4 M's design to bring it in-line with the core facelifted BMW X3 and X4 range. Upfront, this sees a larger take for the trademark kidney grille finished with a single-piece frame in gloss black. Below it, is an even wider central air intake that's joined by a pair of striking boomerang-shaped openings, linked by a new splitter.

Flanking the grille is a pair of flatter front headlamps incorporating the latest adaptive matrix LED tech. For the first time, BMW Laser Light tech is optionally available, with high-beam projection of up to 650 metres.

A new M specific rear spoiler appears on the X3 M’s boot hatch, and there’s a gloss-black boot lid spoiler for the X4 M. Enlarged diffusers appear on both models, hinting at the new level of performance for the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 rivals. There’s also a pair of redesigned LED lights from the refreshed X3 and X4.

For the UK market, standard specification for the X3 M and X4 M include 21-inch M double-spoke alloy wheels, carbon-fibre interior trim, the M sports exhaust, a heated steering wheel, adaptive suspension, the M sports differential, front and rear heated seats, a premium sound system and M Sport seats.

Inside both get BMW’s twin-12.3-inch screens, with the infotainment offering both a faster, more precise Cloud based sat-nav and an on-board assistant. Ahead of the diver, the customisable instrument cluster now offers a sportier M View display that was introduced on the BMW M8.

Click here for our list of the fastest SUVs in the world...

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