Powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol engine, the X3 M40i produces 265kW and 500Nm, sending power to all four wheels via an eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
BMW says it will beat the SQ5 and GLC 43 in the traffic light grand prix, cracking 100km/h in 4.8-seconds, thanks to launch control.
Performance wise, that represents pretty good value when you consider the SQ5 will sprint to 100km/h in 5.4-seconds, and cost $99,611, while the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 will break the tonne in 4.9-seconds, while setting you set you back $102,111.
The first M-badged X3 sits atop the new range of mid-size SUVs from BMW, which currently consists of the sDrive 20i ($66,900), xDrive20d ($69,900), xDrive30i ($76,900), and xDrive30d ($84,900).
Adaptive M Suspension, M Sport exhaust system and brakes, an M Sport differential and 21-inch alloy wheels are standard on the performance SUV, which boasts a 50:50 weight distribution.
Four different driving modes are offered (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+), while the cabin features a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, and 10.25-inch touch screen infotainment unit featuring the iDrive 6 system.
Along with the performance comes BMW’s full Driving Assistance Plus active safety suite, which includes active cruise control, front cross-traffic warning, steering and lane control assistant, and lane keeping assistant with side collision warning.
“We welcome the first-ever M Performance version of the X3, the M40i, to what is a highly competitive market in Australia,” said BMW Group Australia CEO, Marc Werner.
“With that wonderful BMW turbocharged six and a distinctive M Performance look and feel, the M40i is a fantastic combination of versatility, luxury, dynamics and sensational performance” he added.