BMW reveals monster SUVs (and a mad Mini)

BMW has, unsurprisingly, joined the madness that is the monster-powered SUV race with the release of the X3 M and X4 M powered by "most powerful straight-six petrol engine ever to see action in a BMW M car".

That is, by the way, a newly developed 3.0-litre inline six with high-revving unit with 353kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

Just in case you were worrying that those numbers seem to be slightly lower than the likes of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (375kW/600Nm) and the mad Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 (375kW/700Nm), don't - BMW has got that covered off too.

The X3 M and X4 M are available in two new M-exclusive colours - Doningtion Grey metallic and Torino Red metallic.
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The X3 M and X4 M are available in two new M-exclusive colours - Doningtion Grey metallic and Torino Red metallic.

Alongside the "standard" X3 M and X4 M, the German company has also released Competition versions that get a power boost of 22kW that - and we are sure this is coincidental - takes the output to 375kW. Funny that.

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The engine is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the latest M version of BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which made its debut in the M5 and has a rear-wheel bias. The X3 M and X4 M both sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, while the Competition variants shave 0.1 of a second off that time.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP wears a wild wing and will be the most powerful road-going Mini built.
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The Mini John Cooper Works GP wears a wild wing and will be the most powerful road-going Mini built.

Of course, it's not just the engine in an M car that makes it special and like everything else to wear the hallowed badge, the X3 and X4 also get M-specific suspension, steering, brakes and 20-inch alloy wheels.

The Competition variants come on 21-inch M light-alloy wheels in polished black as standard, and also get an M Sport exhaust system.

But the excess-power madness doesn't stop with SUVs in the BMW group, with Mini also announcing a new - and thoroughly mad - John Cooper Works GP model.

The Concept GP hinted at the new JCW GP's appearance back in 2017 and the wings are similar.
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The Concept GP hinted at the new JCW GP's appearance back in 2017 and the wings are similar.

The new JCW GP will pack a version of the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo engine found in the BMW X2 M35i and will be good for more than 220kW, easily making it the most powerful road-going Mini the German company has produced so far.

It will be limited to just 3,000 units, which is 1,000 more than the previous JCW GP that came out in 2012 and the original version that was a limited kit available on the 2006 Cooper S.

Little else has been revealed about the new JCW GP other than a few teaser pictures that reveal it will wear a dramatic wing that is quite similar to the Concept GP from 2017.

According to BMW New Zealand the X3 M and X4 M will be here before the end of the year along with a small handful of John Cooper Works GP, with local pricing announced closer to availability.

Stuff