Transfixed by the SUV-coupe, many manufacturers have been quick to follow the example of the BMW X6. Now, BMW is launching another version.
In 2007, when BMW unveiled the X6, some declared it a miracle, while others thought of an SUV with a sloping roof as a sort of automotive blasphemy. Time has sided with the former though – much to the satisfaction of the BMW headquarters in Munich. From 2008, BMW has sold 250,000 units of this sports activity vehicle (not utility, to underline the difference) – sales volumes that are not insignificant for a premium and highly niche model.
The competition wasn’t just sitting by and watching however, so the X6 no longer has the market to itself. But, then, neither was BMW – sitting by and watching that is. They’ve taken the X3, and also given it the SUV-coupe treatment. And what we’re left with is this, the X4.
Longer (4,671mm against 4,657) than the medium sized X3, but lower (with a height of 1,624mm against 1,678), the X4 has adopted a series of solutions that lowers the centre of gravity (and not just from an aesthetics point of view) and increases the muscularity. From the roofline spoiler, which rises from the boot, to the sides that – for the first time on a BMW – feature double creased lines.
At the front, the kidney grille, intakes, and the headlamps, as well as fog lights (with an optional LED setup), are all different from the X3. In comparison to the X3, the X4 offers more trim and a driving position that’s closer to the road. At the rear, there’s a bench that accommodates three (thus amending one of the drawbacks of the X6, which could only seat four). Under the tailgate, the boot ranges from 500 to 1,400 litres, which is electrically operated in all the models. Another option is a lid that functions via gesture commands.
At its launch, the X4 will be on offer with three petrol engines, and a diesel, with a power ranging from 184 to 313bhp, and a cubic capacity of two litres and four cylinders, as well as three litres and six cylinders. All engines are equipped with TwinPower turbos and Efficient Dynamics technology, all-wheel drive, and ZF’s fantastic eight-speed gearbox. The equipment is adjusted according to the trim level of the car – from the head-up multi colour display to ever more sophisticated connectivity options.
Point of contact
The merging of the headlights and the kidney grille, introduced in the last 3 Series, is evident in both the refreshed BMW X3 and X4. The X4 distinguishes itself by the design and size of the air intakes
Two New Diesels
The mid-career facelift of the X3 (first generation in 2003, and second in 2010) remodels the front design with a more prominent double kidney grille, redesigns the bumper, adds some internal details, and increases the possibility of personalization with innovative colours, upholstery, and wheels. But, above all, it puts under the hood of this popular SUV – which has more than one million units sold since launch – two new generation turbo diesel engines. On the sDrive 18d, the 2-liter engine with 150bhp claims a fuel efficiency of 21km/l. The same engines moves to 190bhp and 400Nm in the xDrive20d with a 0 to 100 time of 8.1 seconds – and, coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, it improves overall fuel consumption and emissions.
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