The head of BMW M says he expects the new X3 M to quickly become the best-selling full-fat model in the Munich-based firm’s high-performance division.

Markus Flasch made the comments during a chat with motoring.com.au.

“The X3 M will be, within the high-performance segment, probably the highest selling,” Flasch said.

As the Australian publication points out, the M2 Competition currently plays that role for the brand.

As a reminder, the new X3 M (alongside its X4 M sibling) is powered by a twin-turbo 3,0-litre straight-six offering 353 kW and 600 N.m in “standard” guise. The flagship Competition version, meanwhile, boasts 375 kW (with peak torque unchanged).

That’s enough, says the German firm, for a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 4,2 seconds for the X3 M and one-tenth quicker for the Competition variant.

Top speed is limited to 250 km/h, although specifying the optional M Driver's Package raises that figure to 280 km/h in the case of the standard models and 285 km/h for the Competition derivatives.

Last we heard from BMW, the hotter X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition variants were scheduled to launch in South Africa in the third quarter of 2019, with the X3 M and X4 M likely to become available locally “at a later stage”.