The first-ever X4 M is here to take on the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe

The 2020 BMW X4 M is the high-performance version of BMW’s compact coupe SUV. Unveiled alongside its 2020 X3 M sibling, the X4 M arrived five years after the nameplate was introduced in 2014. A bit late to the party, but BMW finally offers a competitor for the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe. Based on the second-generation X4 that was unveiled for the 2018 model year, the X4 M shares underpinnings and technology with the X3 M. It features BMW’s brand-new S58 engine, a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six that will also power the next-generation M3 and M4 models. The X4 M is, together with the X3 M, the first M vehicle that’s available with two power ratings at the same time. The X4 M is the base model with 473 horsepower, while the X4 M Competition acts as the range-topping version with 503 horsepower.

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior

  • Aggressive looks
  • Bigger bumper vents
  • Blacked-out grille
  • Lowered ride height
  • Unique wheels
  • Sporty diffuser
  • Quad-exhaust tailpipes
  • Optional CFRP features
2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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The Competition model adds an all-black grille and black trim on the sides

Just like other M models, the X4 M is heavily based on the standard X4 design-wise. It features the same new headlamps that no longer run into the grille, taller kidney grille, and the reshaped engine hood seen on the second-generation crossover. Down below, there’s a new M bumper with large, deep air intakes and big intercoolers that feed air into the turbocharged engine, as well as a significantly bigger vent in the center. The latter has sharper, more angular edges and a wider middle section that extends toward the sides.

Like any M model out there, the kidney grille has black painted vertical slats instead of chrome. These come standard on the X4 M, but the frame remains chromed. Go with the Competition version and the entire grille is finished in gloss black. The bumper trim is identical for a more aggressive look.

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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The X4 M looks way better than the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, which feels a bit bland design-wise

Profile changes are barely noticeable, as is the case with most M-badged Bimmers. Modifications include a lowered ride height, black window trim, new vents on the front fenders (or the iconic BMW M gills), and 20-inch wheels featuring a two-tone, twin-spoke design. The Competition model comes with a few more extra features, like black M gills and larger, 21-inch wheels finished in polished black.

A sportier bumper with a diffuser-like element and a quad-exhaust layout with bigger pipes are the most notable changes around back. These features are identical to the X3 M’s, but the X4 M also features an additional spoiler on the trunk lid. There’s also an optional M Carbon exterior package that adds front air intakes, air blades, mirror caps, rear diffuser, and a spoiler made from carbon-fiber-reinforced (CFRP). It’s a bit disappointing that they’re not made from actual carbon-fiber, but CFRP looks just as good.

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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Needless to say, the new X4 M looks way better than the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, which feels a bit bland design-wise.

2020 BMW X4 M - exterior dimensions

Length inches 187.5
Height inches 63.7
Width inches 75.9
Wheelbase inches 112.8
Ground clearance inches 8.1

2020 BMW X4 M Interior

  • Standard Vernasca leather
  • M steering wheel
  • M gear selector
  • Sports seats
  • Heads-up display
  • Optional Merino leather
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Same cargo room as X4
2020 BMW X4 M Interior
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The X4 M's interior is draped in Vernasca leather, but you can opt for Merino upholstery too

The X4 M’s interior is identical to the regular X4 save for some features and materials. While the standard X4 comes with cloth upholstery, the X4 M’s interior is draped in Vernasca leather. You’ll notice it on the seats, the M steering wheel, and M gear shift selector. Somewhat disappointingly, the steering wheel is identical to the one in the M40i. It doesn’t have a flat bottom either, but it’s the same in the M3 and M4. BMW should think about fixing that.

The good news is that the X4 M is packed with plenty of premium features. The sports seats are electrically adjustable, while the ConnectedDrive navigation package with Navigation system Professional is standard, as is the hi-fi audio system. The 10.2-inch touchscreen atop the dashboard features custom graphics for this model, and the same goes for the massive, 12.3-inch instrument cluster. The standard package also includes premium features like a full-color heads-up display, Ambient Air package, three-zone automatic climate control, and ambient lighting.

Cargo room remains unchanged compared to the regular X4, so you can still load up to 50.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat

The X4 M Competition trim adds a few more upgrades, starting with an extended Merino leather package instead of the usual Vernasca. The Competition also features unique door sill plates and a model nameplate on the center console. If you want something beyond the Individual-based Merino leather package, there’s a bi-color option with Alcantara inserts that will make the interior stand out even more. This version also adds red M1/M2 buttons on the shift paddles so you can activate your custom driving modes.

2020 BMW X4 M Interior
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Other features that set it apart from the regular X4 M include carbon-fiber trim on the door panels and dashboard, and illuminated M logos on the seats.

Cargo room remains unchanged compared to the regular X4, so you can still load up to 18.5 cubic feet of cargo behind the second-row seats and up to 50.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. That’s a notable six-cubic-foot decrease compared to the X3 M, mostly due to the coupe-style roof and the deck lid. However, the X4 M has a bigger trunk than the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 coupe behind the rear seats, offering an extra 0.9 cubic feet. On the other hand, it falls behind by six cubic feet when the rear seats are folded flat. The X4 M also offers less cargo space when compared to the Porsche Macan Turbo and the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, but these two crossovers compete with the X3 M, which has better ratings too.

2020 BMW X4 M Interior
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2020 BMW X4 M - interior dimensions

Headroom front/rear inches 40.3/37.5
Legroom front/rear inches 40.7/35.5
Shoulder room front/rear inches 57.5/56.0
Trunk volume (SAE) ft³ 18.5 – 50.5

2020 BMW X4 M Drivetrain and Performance

  • New 3.0-liter inline-six
  • 473 horsepower
  • 442 pound-feet
  • 503-horsepower Competition model
  • 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds
  • Most powerful inline-six from BMW
  • 8-speed M Steptronic
  • AWD system
2020 BMW X4 M Drivetrain
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The new engine generates 473 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, a notable upgrade over the old mill

As expected ever since we spotted the X4 M in the testing phase, this SUV doesn’t have a V-8, like the X5 M and X6 M have, under the hood. Instead, BMW went with a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine, like in the M3 and M4. However, this engine has nothing to do with the powerplant offered in the sedan and coupe, as it’s a brand-new engine. Called the S58, it’s entirely different than the S55 that BMW currently offers in small M-badged vehicles. Based on the B58 modular engine offered since 2015, it replaces the S55 and enables new M vehicles to comply with new, more stringent emission ratings, and it also adds more power.

Specifically, the new engine generates 473 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, a notable upgrade over the old mill offered in the M3 and M4. The new mill boasts an extra 48 horsepower and 36 pound-feet over its predecessor, but it’s also a big improvement over the six-cylinder in the X4 M40i, which falls behind by a whopping 118 horsepower and 73 pound-feet.

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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The X4 M Competition comes with 503 horsepower, 30 horses more than X4 M

The big news is that BMW now offers a Competition version with a higher output rating. This badge isn’t exactly new, but up until now, it was offered as an upgrade and not alongside the regular model. The X4 M Competition comes with 503 horsepower, 30 horses more than X4 M, and a similar torque rating. Interestingly enough, the engine in the Competition is more powerful than the beefed-up S55 in the M4 GTS, which was rated at 493 horsepower. This makes it the most powerful six-cylinder ever offered in a BMW.

This unit will be offered in upcoming versions of the M2, M3, and M4 later in 2019 and in 2020.

This two-model setup enables the X4 M to compete with the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 on both fronts. AMG vehicles have been offered in base and S trims for quite a while now, with the range-topping version boasting not only a few extra features but also a more powerful engine. Unlike the X4 M, the GLC63 features a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. However, it’s actually a bit less powerful, generating 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet in base trim. But even though it lacks four horsepower, it offers an extra 37 pound-feet of torque.

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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The X4 M is a tenth-second slower than the AMG GLC63 from 0 to 60 mph

The range-topping AMG GLC63 S cranks out 503 horsepower, a rating identical to the X4 M Competition. However, while the Competition has the same torque rating as the X4 M, the S badge adds more torque to the V-8, rated at 516 pound-feet in this trim. That’s a whopping 74 pound-feet over the X4 M Competition. Not exactly what you want to hear about a brand-new BMW M vehicle.

Moving over to performance, the X4 M hits 60 mph from a standing start in 4.1 seconds, while the Competition version slashes the benchmark to four seconds flat. Both crossovers are a tenth-second slower than the AMG GLC63 and AMG GLC63 S, respectively.

When it comes to top speed, the X3 M is limited to the usual 155 mph, which puts it on par with the AMG GLC63. However, BMW should offer an option to lift the limited from the Competition model, which should enable a top speed above the 170-mph mark.

The engine mates to the already familiar eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and sends the power to all four wheels through an M-spec xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The big news here is that the AWD system is shared with the latest M5, so it has a rear-wheel bias and splits the power and torque between the four wheels as needed in order to deliver optimal traction and stability.

2020 BMW X4 M - drivetrain specifications

BMW X4 M BMW X4 M Competition
Engine 3.0 liter 6-cylinder M TwinPower Turbo 3.0 liter 6-cylinder M TwinPower Turbo
Horsepower 473 HP @ 5,600-7,300 RPM 503 HP @ 5,950-7,300 RPM
Torque 442 LB-FT @ 2,600-5,500 RPM 442 LB-FT @ 2,600-5,500 RPM
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 4.1 seconds 4.0 seconds
Top Speed mph 155 155

2020 BMW X4 M Chassis, Suspension, and Brakes

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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BMW replaced the X4's already potent rotors and calipers with larger, M compound units

The X4 M rides on the same suspension layout as the regular X4, including the double-joint sprint strut front axle and the five-link rear axle. But a more powerful engine requires a stiffer suspension, so BMW altered the setup and added adaptive dampers. This way, the X4 M becomes more precise and delivers enhanced directional stability at all speeds, whether in a straight line or during spirited cornering.

The three settings available for the active damper system also enable you to set the vehicle up for a more comfortable ride, maximum dynamics, or a combination of both when required. BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control system was updated specifically for this model and now allows controlled wheel slip in M Dynamic Mode. Speaking of modes, you can use the head-up display to store two setup options via the iDrive menu and them active them through the two M buttons on the steering wheel.

More power also means you need better brakes, so BMW replaced the X4’s already potent rotors and calipers with larger, M compound units. These help the X4 M break and come to a complete halt quicker and safer.

Prices

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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Pricing information is not available right now, but it’s safe to assume that the X4 M will become the most expensive vehicle in the lineup. Right now, the M40i sits at the top of the range with a $59,250 sticker. The X4 M will likely cost at least $75,000, which will match the sticker of the Mercedes-AMG GLC63. The X4 M Competition will start from at least $80,000. For reference, the AMG GLC63 S comes in at $81,800.

2020 BMW X4 M Competitors

Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 712130

Essentially a coupe version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, previously known as the GLK, the GLC Coupe is already available in three AMG-prepped versions. There’s the GLC43, which goes against the X4 M40i, and the GLC63 and GLC63 S. While the overall shapes and dimensions of the two are rather similar, the vehicles are quite different under the hood. Whereas the Bimmer comes with an inline-six engine, the Merc features a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. The mill is also available in two flavors. The AMG GLC63 generates 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, while the AMG GLC63 S comes with 503 horsepower and a whopping 516 pound-feet on tap. Although it’s just as powerful as the X4 M, the GLC benefits from more torque, which helps it sprint to 60 mph a tenth-second quicker in both trims. Pricing for the AMG GLC63 starts from $74,100, while the AMG GLC63 S comes in at $81,800.

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

2018 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 775406

Brand-new for the 2019 model year, the F-Pace SVR is among the most powerful options you have. However, this SUV is actually a better competitor for the X3 M, as it offers similar rear passenger headroom and trunk space. Fitted with sportier bumpers and revised aerodynamics, the SVR looks just as menacing as an M-prepped Bimmer. Things get much serious under the hood, where the beefed-up F-Pace hides a supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that cranks out 542 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of twist. That’s as much as the bigger BMW X5 M! The SVR-badged "Cat" is quick too, needing 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Sure, it’s not as quick as the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S, but it wins the top speed battle with a 176-mph rating. Pricing for the SVR starts from $89,900, which makes it notably more expensive than the competition.

Read our full review of the 2018 Jaguar F-Pace SVR.

Porsche Macan Turbo

2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package
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If you’re looking for a true sports car in a crossover suit, then you should definitely check out the Porsche Macan Turbo,, although this is also a vehicle that competes against the X3 M rather than the X4 M. Set aside by a sportier exterior and a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6, the Macan Turbo hits the pavement with 400 horsepower and 406 pound-feet at its disposal. It might not sound like a lot, but add the Performance Package, and output jumps to 440 horses and 443 pound-feet. Although it’s still not as powerful as the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, the Macan Turbo is quick enough to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.2 seconds. And at $87,700, Performance Package included, the Macan Turbo isn’t awfully expensive compared to its rivals.

Read our full review on the Porsche Macan Turbo.

Conclusion

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior
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As much as I find the X4 to be ugly and somewhat useless, it’s an important piece in BMW’s modern automotive puzzle. Much like the X5 spawned smaller siblings like the X3 and X1, the X6 also shrunk, pushing BMW toward new niches with the X4 and X2. The X4 M is natural "extension" of the lineup and more than necessary now that this niche has so many performance-oriented crossovers to offer. Unfortunately, although it looks cool and has the necessary power to go against the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, it falls short when it comes to torque and 0-to-60-mph sprints. It remains to be seen whether it will make up for that in the dynamics department, where some Bimmers are usually slightly superior to their Mercedes-Benz counterparts. At least it’s available in two trims, matching offerings from its German rival.

  • Leave it
    • No match for the AMG GLC63 performance-wise
    • Needs more torque

Spy Shots

April 4, 2018 - BMW X4 M caught testing on the Nurburgring

2020 BMW X4 M
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2020 BMW X4 M
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October 3, 2017 - BMW X4 M caught testing in Germany

2020 BMW X4 M Exterior Spyshots
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2020 BMW X4 M Exterior Spyshots
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August 1st, 2016 - X4 M caught testing outside the BMW factory in South Carolina

2020 BMW X4 M Spyshots Exterior
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2020 BMW X4 M Spyshots Exterior
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TopSpeed Rendering History

Rendering No. 1 - August, 2012

2020 BMW X4 M Exclusive Renderings
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Our first rendering came shortly after rumors began swirling about am M variant of the X4 model. As you can see, this initial rendering was pretty close to what the X4 Prototype ended up looking like, but it was off ever so slightly.

Rendering No. 2 - April, 2013

2020 BMW X4 M Exclusive Renderings
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Our second rendering, which we based off of the X4 prototype, cleans up most of the basic construction issues that we were not aware would be present on the prototype version. As you can see here, we added in the more pronounced indentation at the basic of the doors, reshaped the headlights to add in the flare on the outer edge and the harder angles, and we added in the ridge that spans from the rear doors to the taillights. Given this is based off of the actual prototype images, it should be pretty close to what we’ll see.

Rendering No. 3 - June, 2016

2020 BMW X4 M Exclusive Renderings
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The third rendering is heavily based on the test cars we’ve seen on public roads throughout 2017. As you can see, the new design differs quite a bit from the previous rendering, mostly because of the styling changes that will come with the facelift. The most noticeable revisions can be seen up front, where the headlamps, grille, and bumper have been redesigned to match BMW’s current design language.

References

2019 BMW X4 Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2018 BMW X4.

2015 BMW X4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the current BMW X4.

Update History

Updated 10/03/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW X4 M out for a new testing session somewhere in Germany.

Updated 08/01/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming X4 M out for a first testing session outside the BMW factory in South Carolina.

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