For the past couple of years, advancements in diesel engines have shown that performance doesn't have to come at the price of efficiency. Now, BMW is taking it towawrds a different direction by combining those two elements in a practical package. Keen to expand the X3 range, the German automaker has introduced the X3 M40d.

With that, it becomes the most powerful X3 one can buy, when it comes to torque that is. The X3 M40d trails its gas-powered counterpart, the M40i, in terms of horsepower. With its straight-six, turbocharged diesel engine, the X3 M40d makes 326 PS whereas the M40i produces 340 PS. The M40d claws back performance points with its torque figure, rated at a whopping 680 Nm. As a basis for comparison, the M40i weighs in at 500 Nm.

The result is performance similar to the gas-fed, six-cylinder X3. BMW claims the X3 M40d can hit 100 km/h from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds. The X3 M40i can do the same task a shade quicker at 4.8 seconds. Both models are electronically limited to 250 km/h. Being a diesel, one expects good fuel economy and BMW says the high-performance crossover can do up to 15.4 kilometers per liter in mixed conditions.

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As for its looks, the X3 M40d is largely similar to the X3 M40i. From nose to tail, it gets the same M Sport package found in the M40i as standard. The wheels are the same too, employing the same five-spoke alloy wheels unique to the M-tweaked crossovers. One of the few distinguishing marks of the M40d over the M40i is the badge which, typical with BMW, can be deleted at the owner's request.