There will be a proper M-version of BMW’s next small coupé SUV

The new BMW X4 hasn’t even been released yet, but a proper M-version of the car has already been spied testing. The basic SUV-cum-coupé is likely to be released early this year and will share many components with the current BMW X3. The full reveal of the high-performance X4 M is likely to follow a few months later.

There was outrage from purists and enthusiasts back when BMW’s M-division revealed its first performance SUV, the X6 M. Not only was it a cumbersome SUV, it was four-wheel drive and turbocharged – the antithesis of what BMW M had previously stood for. But now, after only nine short years the prospect of high-riding 4x4s wearing an M-badge is far less exceptional. And, thanks to the new BMW M3’s engine and the latest M5’s drivetrain, we’ve been conditioned to find turbocharged engines and four-wheel drive almost conventional in an M-car.

> Find out what the new four-wheel drive BMW M5 is like to drive 

So now the news of an X4 M joining the performance BMW line-up won’t cause many people dismay, no matter what transmission and driveline it’s fitted with. While we can be quite sure the performance X4 M will have four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox when it’s finally revealed, we’re less certain what engine the X4 M will be fitted with. It could be equipped with the twin-turbo straight-six from the M3 and M4, or it may get only get a single twin-scroll turbo engine as found in the M2. Either way, we would expect the power to be over 300kW.