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[Video] BMW X3 M Competition Goes Off-Road Tracks

You wouldn’t dream of driving a 503-horsepower performance SUV with low-profile tyres and a low ride height off-road. However, Mat Watson of Carwow is fond of offbeat comparisons like this. In his latest video, Watson compares the BMW X3 M Competition and the Porsche Macan GTS in an off-road setting.

The first step is to define these vehicles. A turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six produces 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque in the BMW X3 M Competition. It sports an electronically regulated clutch pack and an eight-speed automatic transmission with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Not a go-to set-up for rough terrain driving. The Porsche Macan GTS has a similar 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine that generates 434 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. It has seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Both cars have road-ready tires and wheels.

On the other hand, both vehicles breezed through each obstacle on a moderately difficult off-road course. The identical route might have been easily destroyed by a Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler, or Toyota Land Cruiser, yet the two Germans did well considering their limitations. Even so, the Porsche was in worse shape. It was clear from the beginning that it had a poorer chance of winning than the BMW because of its lower riding height and less powerful engine. The BMW X3 M easily bested the Macan GTS in an uphill drag race on a dirt road. It’s more potent, and its launch control mechanism even seemed to perform better on sloppy ground. Unfortunately for BMW, not everything worked out. The Macan GTS offers an off-road mode that modifies the car’s throttle response, braking, and shift points for improved performance in rough terrain.

Watson’s off-road spotter was impressed that both vehicles passed all tests despite trading triumphs. Watson points out that both manufacturers refer to their cars as SUVs; if they use that label, their vehicles had better live up to it. There’s just one to paraphrase a bad ’80s film that’s pretty funny. And the victor is a bit of a shock.

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