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Spied! BMW X3 M Prototype Prowls the Streets of L.A.

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/10/2018 Motor Trend Staff

We've seen the upcoming BMW X3 M testing on Germany's famed N rburgring, but now the performance SUV has been captured in our own backyard.

These photos were sent in by Hermosa Beach resident Aaron Alonso, who happens to also work in the auto industry as a performance tuner. Noticing the camo, Alonso began snapping away as the X3 was making a left turn. What gives this away as an M model are the unique front valance and quad exhaust tips. This mule is even wearing the same mismatched front and rear wheels as the prototype we saw on the 'Ring.

a car driving down a street© Motor Trend Staff

Though BMW introduced a sportier M40i model with the new 2018 X3, there has never been a full-blown M variant before. Rumor has it that the X3 M will pack a version of the B58 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six renamed S58 and tuned to around 450 hp. It's not known if the performance SUV will be rear- or all-wheel drive, but if all four wheels are driven you can probably expect a torque vectoring system similar to the one employed on the X5 M and X6 M.

Judging by the minimal camouflage, the X3 M should be revealed very soon, possibly at one of the major auto shows this year. The X3 M is expected to enter production at BMW's North American plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. When it finally arrives, it will challenge other hot utes like the Porsche Macan Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GLC63.

Photo source: Aaron Alonso

2019 BMW X3 M prototype 02© Motor Trend Staff 2019 BMW X3 M prototype 02

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