By on December 9, 2019

There has been plenty of talk regarding BMW’s plan to gently boost the power figures of select M models. The crossover segment is getting crowded and rival automakers are upping the ante to offer desirable alternatives. Ford’s Edge has often felt a bit too expensive for mainstream tastes but, when optioned correctly, seemed the perfect bargain remedy for BMW’s X3. The 355-hp Edge ST further encouraged this mindset by matching the M40i’s output at a fraction of the price.

It’s hardly the only option, either. Dodge will happily show you a 360-horsepower Durango R/T while Jeep fits you for a Grand Cherokee using the same motor. Regardless of your final decision, both undercut BMW’s pricing by a wide margin — forcing you to spend more if you want comparable might from Germany. As a result, BMW plans to spruce up the powertrains going into the 2020 BMW X3 and X4 M40i xDrive.  

Speaking to Motor Authority, BMW spokesman Oleg Satanovsky confirmed the 2020 M550i sedan’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 will get a boost — going from its current 456 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque to 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. Meanwhile, M40i variants of the X3/X4 will see outputs increase from 355 hp to 382 hp in 2020.

The revamp is subtler than the M550i’s 4.4-liter V8 — which receives upsized turbo chargers, a new block, fresh intake manifold, reinforced pistons, higher fuel pressures and more — by focusing mainly on adding boost, revised engine management protocols, and an upgraded exhaust system. Overall, BMW’s 3.0-liter I6 should see overall output increase by around 5 percent next year.

From Motor Authority:

The X3 and X4 M40i use an engine found in many 40i-branded BMWs, including the 540i, X6, 740i, and 840i, although those vehicles don’t get the same power bump for 2020. The 2020 Z4 M40i and 2020 M340i have power ratings similar to the 2020 versions of the X3 and X4 M40i.

It should be noted that these models also received price increases, though that is at least partially due to additional equipment. The base price for the M550i increased by $2,200, and it now includes equipment changes such as an active rear differential and heated seats. The prices for the X3 and X4 M40i rose $1,250 and $550, respectively, and also include small equipment changes.

That still works out to MSRPs of over $56,000 (X3) and $61,000 (X4) for those seeking the M40i variants. We doubt it’ll be enough to sway bargain hunters who probably aren’t seriously eyeballing the brand anyway. Still, it may encourage some to make a meaningful jump up the trim ladder, especially if they’ve been considering something less flashy and more powerful from the beginning. It also helps M40i models come across as more competitive against the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, which also boosted output to 385 horsepower for 2020.

[Image: BMW Group]

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21 Comments on “BMW Boosts Output of 2020 X3 and X4 M40i...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I–I don’t think trying to compete with FCA and its “most-horsepower-for-your-dollars” game is why BMW did this. I do not think that too many people would cross-shop an X3 M40i and a Grand Cherokee HEMI. I think that your second point was correct; whatever Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover are doing probably has more to do with BMW’s sudden generosity.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      I considered both the base X3 and GC, although GC was much too large and heavy, and thus at a disadvantage. It generally is considered a peer for X5 rather than X3.

  • avatar

    And here I thought the only thing BMW was capable of increasing was the size of their grilles.

  • avatar

    If I’m buying a powerful minivan then I’m going to get the 392 Durango. The best sounding minivan on the market bar none, the best looking imo as well.

    And yes I know the GC has the hellcat engine, I’m still choosing the 392 Durango.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. The 392 is very impressive. I drove it hard around Road America, and I was impressed. Tick down from the Trackhawk, but very nice. And if that’s too big, Stelvio.

    • 0 avatar

      Since I’m unlikely to buy either the Durango or any comparable X4 brand new, it’s more interesting to me to consider their depreciation slopes and the resulting value you get as a second owner, possibly still under factory warranty (such as via a CPO program). In this light, the Dodge beats the BMW every time. If you can get past the need to impress other people, then you can get so much more for your dollar by picking up a nice SRT (392) Durango, which has HP and Torque figures more in line with the BMW X4 M than the X4 M40i. It’ll probably cost less to maintain over the next 100K miles, too.

  • avatar

    Ultimate driving machines in all their 21 century glory. I wonder why it is not electric. Honestly this news has zero relevance for all of us. I have no clue who may buy this stuff, some sick people may be.

  • avatar

    Use of the term “output” in the headline honestly implies an increase in production volume.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    X3 M40i might be my next vehicle. I’d be afraid a Dodge or Jeep would turn into a rattle trap 5 years out. My 07 X5 is still as solid as a bank vault after 95K miles.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m curious, Master Baiter – why an X3 instead of another X5?

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        I’m imagining it to be sportier and more toss-able. I’d have to drive both to confirm those suspicions. 3 series sedan is tempting, but I think the X3 is more practical for the occasional hauling of large items.

        • 0 avatar
          Pete Zaitcev

          We mostly use X3 to haul trees. It works, although a tarp is mandatory. Vacuuming the interior of X3 is an ordeal. It is practical up to about 220 cm (or 7 ft), with the root bulb in the front seat.

          X3 has roof rails, but you need to buy aftermarket cross bars.

          It can also tow, if that works better for you. In fact, the idea of X3 came to mind when I saw two old women pull up in one to the materials yard. The harness is set for both 7-pin and 4-pin connectors, and you can add a brake controller.

          Others sometimes ask me why I don’t just use a real truck. Well… 30 mpg when not towing, and it actually was cheaper. No, really.

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