Munich - BMW has announced a brawny new diesel option for X3 customers, the M40d joining the M40i as the second high-performance model in the mid-sized SUV line-up.

As per the M40d version of the X4, the new variant gets a 240kW/680Nm version of BMW’s 3-litre six-cylinder diesel mill with multi-stage turbocharging. That’s a good 45kW and 60Nm more than you get in the X3 3.0d.

According to BMW, the X3 M40d will send you from standstill to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds - so it’s just a tenth of a second slower off the mark than the M40i, while obviously winning the efficiency race by a substantial margin with its claimed fuel consumption figure of 6.5 litres per 100km, versus the petrol model’s 8.9 l/100km claim.

As you’d expect at this level, X4 M40d is fitted with BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission with launch control and the ‘M Performance’ version of BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, in this case featuring a more rearward biased power distribution.

As an M Performance model, the M40d also gets a sporty exterior styling package with Cerium Grey garnishes, as well as 20-inch wheels and M Sport suspension and brakes.

BMW South Africa is planning to launch the X3 M40d in South Africa (along with its X4 sibling) in the first quarter of 2019.

IOL Motoring