AC Schnitzer’s BMW X3 M has 600bhp

By topgear, 23 January 2020

The X3 M is far from our favourite M car. Reckon AC Schnitzer’s newly announced suspension and engine modifications are enough to turn it into one we’re at least prepared to tolerate?

As standard the X3 M Competition gets 503bhp and 599Nm from the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo six as the next, yet-to-be-revealed BMW M3. In development for some five years before making its debut in the X3, the new engine has little to do with the 3.0-litre straight six from the Z4 and Supra. A 3D-printed head ranks among the technical highlights.

Fast? Yes. But exciting? No, not really.

So what AC Schnitzer has done is add power (eyeroll) – something the X3 M did not need. Its Competition makes near enough 600bhp and 700Nm. Performance figures aren’t quoted, but given the normal car manages 0-100kph in 4.1 seconds, Schnitzer’s X3 could well drop into the threes.

Then you have the suspension, which has been lowered by around 25mm. We described the X3 M’s standard suspension as “horrifically stiff” – and we can’t see a tuning company (that isn’t Alpina) deliberately making a car softer.

Naturally there’s also a load of new skirts and spoilers, which may or may not be your bag.

Brilliant? Abomination? Or somewhere in between?