By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / photos BMW US Press Information
The M Performance model in the X3 lineup sets new standards with its sharper dynamics, high level of exclusivity and standout emotional appeal.
The BMW X3 M40i elevates the already boldly dynamic design language, the third generation of the pioneering premium compact Sports Activity Vehicle treads a familiar BMW X family path in combining rugged off-road looks with generous presence.
The front fascia features a muscular three-dimensional kidney grille and fog lights featuring a hexagonal design, underlining the confident character. Moving to the rear, the taillight housings whose three-dimensional look with the optional Adaptive LED and Icon Adaptive Full LED Headlights, give them considerable visual impact. A downward-sloping roof spoiler and twin exhaust tailpipes add to the muscular appearance.
Among these features are the standard and strikingly dynamic M Performance-specific exterior design cues, which include the M Aerodynamic kit with design elements finished in Cerium Grey Metallic. The flap-controlled M Sport exhaust system with Black Chrome tailpipe embellishers, M Sport brakes and standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch and 21-inch cast light-alloy wheels provide a distinctive sporting character. The X3 M40i can be equipped with the available Adaptive M Sport suspension, which covers an even wider spread of ride comfort featuring the sportiest set-up suspension available.
The interior follows BMW tradition with its driver-focused and ergonomically optimized cockpit layout and carries over many aspects of the car’s exterior design. For instance, hexagonal forms and precise, sloping edges also play a central role in the interior. The interior as a whole display’s exceptional material quality, fit, and finish, with carefully thought ergonomics.
In addition, the BMW X3 M40i comes standard with several comfort enhancing features, these include 3-zone automatic climate control, which adds separate temperature controls for the rear compartment to those for the driver and front passenger. To enhance rear compartment comfort, the angle of the standard 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat backrests can be adjusted individually and through various stages thanks to the standard cargo function. This feature also allows the backrests to be released remotely from the load compartment, which expands the standard load capacity of 28.7 ft3 to 62.7 ft3. The available convenient functions include front ventilated seats for driver and front passenger to maximize comfort on warm days. Customers can also give the interior a roomier feel with the 9.8-inch longer panoramic glass moonroof.
The BMW X3 M40i, also excels when it comes to Human Machine Interface through a refined system. In addition to the iDrive Controller fitted as standard, specifying the Navigation system Professional featuring iDrive 6.0 enhances the iDrive Controller with a 10.25” display with Touchscreen technology. The optional BMW Gesture Control adds a unique way to interface with the X3 M40i. BMW Gesture Control allows numerous infotainments, communication, and navigation functions to be operated intuitively using finger and hand gestures. The vehicle can also be controlled using the cloud based Intelligent Voice Control, which offers the most advanced level of natural voice control currently available. This enables drivers to formulate their request in natural, everyday language instead of having to use a ridged set of spoken commands.
Under the hood, the 3.0-liter M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology 6-cylinder inline engine ensures the BMW X3 M40i sits at the top end of the model range. Output of 355 hp propels the flagship X3 from 0 to 60 mph in a best in segment time of 4.6 seconds. The X3 M40i also includes a wealth of model specific set-up and equipment features, which both underpin and lend added impact to the exceptional performance credentials of this SAV.
The BMW X3 M40i is equipped with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with Launch Control. This transmission is a perfect match for the engine’s dynamic characteristics and can be operated using shift paddles on the steering wheel. In addition, its xDrive all-wheel drive system has a far more pronounced rear bias than on the other model versions. The Performance Control feature integrated into the DSC system and acting on the rear wheels has been reconfigured to produce agility and traction for which M Performance models are known for.
The M Sports suspension, which is standard on the M40i model, offers the keen driver a firmer suspension. Adaptive M Suspension is optionally available on the M40i model, offering electronically controlled dampers and even sportier suspension settings. M Sport brakes are standard and feature blue-painted aluminum four-piston fixed calipers at the front and amply proportioned brake discs have high levels of thermal resistance to deliver phenomenal stopping power despite their extremely low weight.
The BMW X3 M40i heralds the M Performance Automobile in this model series. Power comes from a M Performance TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder inline engine, which blends its insatiable appetite for revs and sublime pulling power with exemplary smoothness and efficiency. The 3.0-liter unit generates power output of 355 hp from 5,500 – 6,500 rpm. Peak torque of 369 lb-ft from 1,520 – 4,800 rpm, provide a 69 lb-ft. This performance arsenal equips the BMW X3 M40i to a best in segment sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $54,650.00, the one I drove, included the Glacier Silver Metallic Exterior Paint, the Driving Assistant Package ($500.00), Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700.00), Premium Package ($3,050.00), Executive Package (2,550.00), Adaptive M Suspension ($700.00), 21 Inch M Wheels 718M ($1,900.00), Wireless Charging ($500.00), Harman Kardon Surround Sound ($875.00), and it came in at $67,970.00, including destination charge ($995.00).