BMW M GmbH has just announced full model refreshes for its high-performance mid-size Sports Activity Vehicle and Sports Activity Coupé, with both models expected to arrive in New Zealand by Q4 2021.

The two new models will add to BMW’s high-performance M portfolio in New Zealand, where more than one in every four cars sold carries M or M Performance credentials.

Two years after initial market launch, the refreshed BMW X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition bring new design features drawn from the series X3 and X4, along with M specific changes and a new operating concept. We last drove the X3M and X4M in the Outback of Australia, and it impressed us then – so surely the new model can only be better.

BMW says the new BMW X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition also offer increased pulling power. The most powerful BMW in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine with a peak output of 375kW/510hp – also found on the storming all-new BMW M3 Competition and M4 Competition – has a maximum torque which has been increased by 50Nm to 650Nm, enabling a 0.3-second improvement in the time required for the standard sprint from 0 to 100km/h to 3.8 seconds.

Top speed is electronically cut off at 250 km/h, but can be optionally raised to 285 km/h in conjunction with the optional M Driver’s Package.

There’s some other benefits to the new model, like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration as standard – so, no longer a $500 option.

M compound brake system and 21-inch wheels as standard

The performance characteristics of the BMW X3 M Competition and the BMW X4 M Competition are complemented by powerful M compound brakes. The brake calipers feature the M logo and are finished in blue as standard or in high-gloss black or red on request.

Wheel and tyre packages are geared for maximum performance, with 21-inch wheels with mixed tyres in 255/40 ZR21 at the front and 265/40 ZR21 at the rear. New M forged wheels in Style 892M Star Spoke Jet Black burnished contribute to a weight saving of 2 kilograms per wheel. Alternatively, the well-known M light alloy wheel 765M V-Spoke is also available in Jet Black burnished.

Larger BMW kidney grille and a more striking front section

The new BMW X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition have enlarged BMW kidney grilles in a one-piece frame and headlights narrowed by about ten millimetres, drawn from the likewise refreshed BMW X3 and BMW X4.

In addition to the standard adaptive LED headlights with Matrix function, the BMW Laser Light with a range of up to 650 metres is now also available as an optional extra.

One particularly striking feature is the new, vertically arranged and elongated side air intakes; these are angled down towards the spoiler lip in a bend towards the centre of the vehicle, where they follow the hexagonal shape of the central air intake.

They are framed by trim elements in high-gloss black, which is also used for the caps of the aerodynamically optimised M exterior mirrors and the characteristic M gills integrated in the air breathers, as well as the rear spoiler only on the BMW X4 M Competition.

New control island from the current BMW M3 and M4 models

Originating from the current BMW M3 and M4 models, the newly designed control island on the centre console includes two new buttons in addition to the specific M gear selector with Drivelogic rocker switch, the BMW Controller and the red engine start button, which is now positioned here.

The set-up button provides direct access to all settings options for the engine and suspension: it is used to access a menu in the Control Display that lists the current vehicle settings. Two individually configured variants of the M set-up can be permanently stored and retrieved at any time using the two M buttons on the steering wheel.

The M Mode button can be used to influence the activities of the driver assistance systems as well as the displays in the instrument cluster and in the Head-Up Display at the touch of a button, thereby enabling a driving experience to be created that is appropriate to the situation and typical of M in each case.

A Harman Kardon surround sound system now comes as standard. BMW Live Cockpit Professional offers a fully digital display network: the high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and the Control Display each have a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches.

The fully digital instrument display offers, among other things, the M View with specific displays adopted from the BMW M8 models. M specific display content is also available with the optional BMW Head-Up Display.

The cloud-based navigation system BMW Maps offers particularly fast and precise calculation of routes and arrival times, real-time traffic data updates at short intervals and free text input for selecting navigation destinations.

Smartphone integration and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant

Another standard feature is optimised smartphone integration. Android Auto can now also be used with the vehicle’s operating system in addition to Apple CarPlay.

Here, the driver can view all the important information from the apps on the Control Display and also – in intelligently processed form – in the instrument cluster and the optional Head-Up Display.

The capabilities of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant are being expanded on an ongoing basis. With the digital companion, naturally spoken instructions can now be used to regulate the air conditioning, open and close the windows or change the driving experience switch modes, for instance.

It can also access the new News app, which reads out the latest news to passengers, and learn routines that increase comfort and driving pleasure in certain situations.

Driving Assistant Professional available for the first time

The BMW X3 M Competition and the BMW X4 M Competition come with all the modern driver assistance systems of the BMW X3 and BMW X4. In addition to the Driving Assistant, the Driving Assistant Professional is available as an option for the first time.

It includes Active Cruise Control with improved functionality in the city, intersection warning with additional city braking function, emergency lane assistant and the improved steering/lane guidance assistant.

The 3D environment visualisation in the instrument cluster provides an overview of which Driving Assistant Professional assistance systems are activated and what functions they offer.

The optional Parking Assistant Plus now also includes the reverse assistant, which helps retrace a completed line in reverse. Parking Assistant Plus uses Park View, Panorama View and 3D Top View to create a 360-degree image of the vehicle and its surroundings from various perspectives.

Meanwhile, the driver can have a three-dimensional live image of their vehicle and its surroundings transmitted to their smartphone by means of Remote 3D View.

Prices and local equipment specifications will be announced soon.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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