Image: All provided by BMW

In a surprise move, BMW displayed its new X3 M and X4 M performance “Sport Activity Vehicles” for the first time in the lead up to today’s Nürburgring DTM race. The two lightly-camouflaged prototypes were test driven on the track to show off their new aerodynamic, suspension, and drivetrain tweaks. BMW claims the engine is an all-new inline-six cylinder with “M TwinPower Turbo technology” and high-revving characteristics.

“With their M specific performance characteristics, the BMW X3 M and the BMW X4 M will set benchmarks in terms of dynamics in their respective vehicle segment,” says Frank van Meel, President BMW M GmbH.

BMW is also touting the M xDrive all-wheel drive technology, which was introduced in the M5 earlier this year. This system promises a performance-oriented transfer of engine power to all four of the vehicle’s wheels. Each wheel can be independently controlled for power distribution to allow a balance between maximum traction and dynamic handling.

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The performance mid-sized SUV market is becoming quite large, and both of these HiPo Bimmers will face competition from other Germans, like the Porsche Macan and Mercedes GLC AMG models. No mention has been made yet of power output levels, or price points. The M4's inline-six turbo engine has been tuned to make nearly 500 horsepower in the GTS model, which would be more than enough to best those other Germans.

The X4 M40i currently retails at $60,450, and this proper M-division version of the X4 is likely to carry a serious premium on top of that.