The 2018 BMW X3 M has been filmed testing hard on the Nurburgring in Germany ahead of an expected debut date late this year or early next year.

The new BMW X3 will serve as a better starting point for a performance-focused M car than the current-generation model. With BMW’s new modular rear-wheel drive platform present, the new X3 will be lighter, more agile and more economical.

The high-performance X3 M variant will take aim at the Porsche Macan Turbo, Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic and other compact crossover performance offerings. Under the hood should be BMW’s turbocharged 422hp 3.0-litre inline-six engine, which will be paired with a seven-speed DCT transmission.

Camouflage covered mules like the one seen in the video above haven’t given us much to work with in regards to the styling of the X3 M, but we’re expecting an aggressive front bumper with a large air intake opening, side skirts and a sporty rear diffuser. A quad outlet exhaust setup like the BMW M3/M4’s also seems a likely addition.

The 2018 BMW X3 M will be the first X3 to wear the coveted ‘M’ badge. In previous years the demand for such a model was too low to justify the investment, but with crossover purchases at a fever pitch in the Europe, China and other major sales regions, automakers can hardly bring enough of them to market.

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