Extra lift for X3, M5

BMW is introducing two more performance variants.


HERE’S the story of a P dealer whose rush to feed the hungry habits of Kiwi addicts is not being relayed in the country’s courtrooms.

The big hitting drug of choice is speed, but not in a chemical sense. The ‘P’ that BMW New Zealand is dishing out is ‘performance’, highly addictive and all perfectly legal.

In the past day, the Auckland-headquartered distributor has confirmed that it has locked in consignments of a couple of muscled versions of models that have already achieved good standing here.

The $122,990 X3 M40d and $229,900 M5 Competition arrive in October but the order book is open for both.

The brand has declined to offer thought on the volume prospects for either, saying this is not policy. It says there is no restriction on the M5 Competition’s availability as it is a regular production model.

As its designation suggests, the M40d is the diesel equivalent of the current M40i petrol-powered leader of the new X3 sports utility pack, with the same comforts and content meted the latter.

Its availability represents the first time BMW NZ has provided a choice of M Performance-tailored petrol and diesel powertrains in the medium vehicle.


BMW NZ also claims the X3 M40d holds the unique position of being the only high performance diesel-powered mid-size SUV in the premium segment – a barb aimed, it seems, at Audi NZ, whose SQ5 held that status in previous generation form but abdicated when the new-gen of that hotrod switched to a petrol engine.

The X40d has a $3050 premium over the X40i. The inline six diesel creates 240kW of power and maximum torque of 680Nm, available at 1750rpm thanks to multi-stage turbocharging and direct injection technology. The X40i outputs, by comparison, are 265kW and 500Nm. The diesel model is claimed to clock 0-100kmh in 4.9 seconds, making it just 1s slower than the petrol.

Like the M40i, the X3 M40d has an XDrive set-up engineered to lend more of a rear-drive biaise than it evidenced by less performance-themed variants.

The version also dresses with M Performance-specific exterior design cues throughout, including the M Aerodynamics package, M Sport braking package, adaptive M Sport suspension with M Performance-specific tuning, variable sport steering and 21-inch light-alloy wheels as standard.

In the cabin there's sports seats and “M40d” logos on the front door sill strips and instrument panel. 

Commanding a $30,000 premium over the regular M5, the M5 Competition takes its sibling’s 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine and ups peak power by 19kW to 460kW at 6000rpm, while maximum torque holds steady at 750Nm from 1800 to 5800rpm – 200rpm wider than the regular M5.

As a result, the M5 Competition smashes from a standstill to 100kmh in 3.3 seconds while on the way to 200kmh in 10.8s. For reference, the regular M5 completes these marks in 3.4s and 11.1s respectively.

Despite its performance credentials, the M5 Competition is only 0.3 litres per 100km less efficient with claimed fuel consumption of 10.8L/100km on the combined cycle test.

The M5 Competition has a louder exhaust and looks meaner, through having a 7mm lower ride height. Suspension spring rates have increased by 10 per cent for both axles, including shorter auxiliary springs for better wheel control.

Increased negative camber on the front axle, racing-style ball joints for the rear toe links, a new mounting design for the front anti-roll bar and an increased spring rate for the rear anti-roll bar are also among the suspension upgrades.

The model runs bi-colour, Y-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels taking 275/35 tyres up front and 285/35 rubber at the rear. Other styling enhancements include high-gloss black trim treatments and M5 Competition badging, while black seatbelts with striped M stitching, M5-branded piped floor mats and an M Competition start-up instrument-cluster graphic also feature.

As with the regular M5, the M5 Competition has a rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission.