With BMW's current X3 M delivering 510hp and 443ft lb of torque, it's hard to see how much more useful performance could be wrung out of the mid-size SUV. After all, it's no use hitting 62 from the traffic lights in 4.2 seconds if the groceries end up plastered all over the rear window.
But far be it from us to tell the tuners at AC Schnitzer what is or isn't necessary. Because they've taken the model and applied their own twist in an effort to demonstrate that "even M-vehicles have not yet reached the limits of their possibilities." A massive 600hp and 516lb ft of torque being a pretty emphatic way to do just that.
This isn't the first time that the X3 M has received such treatment, of course, Dahler has already released a 610hp/ 561lb ft Stage 1 package, one claimed to unlock a sub-four 0-62 time and 186mph top speed. Where AC Schnitzer will no doubt insist their set-up comes out on top, however, is in the way that the finished product handles such a prodigious output.
For starters, the firm's custom spring kit lowers the car by up to 25mm over the standard suspension to ensure "maximum control and road holding" while a range of 20- and 22-inch Light Alloy Wheels reduce unsprung weight. Add to that an aero package which includes a front splitter, rear spoiler and skirts and you have... pretty much exactly the same sort of power-wings-and-wheels-based upgrade that has become so commonplace in the hot SUV segment and beyond.
Inside, there are "high-quality, easy-grip aluminium accessories" including new pedals, iDrive controller and shift paddles, as well as a smattering of badges. And, while there's no official word on the performance gains associated with the upgrades, Schnitzer does highlight that they come packaged with a handy four-year warranty. Sounds like plenty of care-free Autobahn runs are in store for buyers, whoever they might be.