What have they competed in or are going to compete in?

BMW “haA” officially unveiled the hottest versions of its X3 an X4 SUVs, the X3 M and X4 M, both of which will be offered in even hotter Competition trim for those who want the ultimate level of factory performance from these models. Now I don’t have a problem with the creation of a limited edition model to sit above the regular M-badged X3 and X4, but why on Earth would you call them “Competition”?

2020 BMW X3 and X4 Competition Name Doesn’t Make Sense

BMW X3 and X4 M "Competition" name is a bit silly for an SUV
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Using said nameplate to designate hotter versions of its sedan and coupe offerings certainly makes a lot more sense mainly because most of those cars do actually compete in actual racing. But with these two tall SUVs, it seems like a bit of a contrived decision - I wonder how the board meeting where they decided this went down. Was the decision to call the hotter X3 and X4 M models Competition met with an emphatic “Ja!?”

Now I’m sure they could have come up with a different name for these more exclusive models, and I also understand why they ended up doing it this way.

The “Competition” nameplate is already established among BMW Motorsport owners and fans, so if they saw an X3 or X4 M Competition, they’d immediately know what it is.

But that still can’t shift my attention from the fact that it’s still just plain silly to have a “Competition” badge on these cars.

BMW X3 and X4 M "Competition" name is a bit silly for an SUV
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Maybe a system similar to what Audi uses to designate its RS models, the hottest of which are designated “Plus” (i.e. Audi TT RS Plus) - I think this is a better naming strategy on Audi’s part (but don’t get me started on their new output-derived powertrain designations, though) as it’s more general and you can use it on a multitude of hot models. Mercedes does it even more simply, by adding an S to the end of the model designation (i.e., Mercedes-AMG C63S).

But, in BMW’s case, it doesn’t really work this way in my mind, especially since the Competition badge is used on vehicles that are lighter, faster, and more focused versions of the Motorsport models.

The only way this could stop being ridiculous and slightly laughable (and a bit disappointing) is if BMW launched a one-make series starring either one of the two (or both) and calling that series the X3 or X4 M... Competition. Or they could run either of them in the Deutsche Touring Masters (DTM) racing series instead of the 4-Series currently used...

Further Reading

2019 BMW X4 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X4.

2018 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X3.

BMW X3 and X4 M "Competition" name is a bit silly for an SUV
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW X3 M.

BMW X3 and X4 M "Competition" name is a bit silly for an SUV
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW X4 M.

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