BMW previews X4 in China
BMW has released teaser images of its latest Sports Activity Vehicle, the X4, ahead of its official release at this month’s Shanghai Motor Show.
The SAV is exactly what its name suggests: a four-wheel driven coupé look-a-like, which will closely resemble a scaled-down version of the X6 and its four-door, coupé-inspired configuration.
BMW is renaming the two-door versions of its F30-generation 3-Series models as the 4-Series, so the X4 could be considered as a lower-slung, sportier X3 – kind of what the X6 is to the X5.
That said, the X4 looks very similar to the X6, which is to be expected since there is only so much that a designer can do when charged to create a smaller yet familiar faux-coupé SUV (or SAV, in BMW-speak).
The rear of the vehicle looks as if it has been lifted directly from the X6, but the front does have more of a 4-Series feel to it. The car is smaller than the X6 in most dimensions, coming in 227mm shorter and 68mm lower than its larger sibling, but it is some 70mm wider.
The platform is that of the X3, and because of that the two models share the same wheelbase, but the wider body and aggressive body styling should make the X4 stand out from the X3.
The X3 will also lend the X4 large sections of its interior, as BMW tries to cut the costs of adding another model to the range. The dashboard, center console and infotainment unit will all be lifted from the X3, although we do expect BMW to include some new materials and finishes in the X4.
Maybe some of that fancy new carbon fibre weave that it now produces at its recently acquired US-based carbon fibre production facility will find its way into the X4’s cockpit …
As with the X6, the X4 will be a four-seater. The rear bench will be replaced with individual seats, split by a centre console, although the traditional three-seat bench will be an available option.
We don’t know for sure what engines BMW will bless the X4 with, but as the SAV shares its underpinnings with the X3, it is safe to assume that the current line-up of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be available.
This means that BMW’s turbocharged 3,0-litre petrol engine will be the most powerful member of the line-up, while the 2,0-litre turbodiesel will surely be the most popular.
The X3, unlike the X6, doesn’t have a M-division model, so we are not too sure if BMW will follow the upcoming M4 or the M6 when it comes to offering range-topping performance. Because of M-Division’s renewed strategy to make the brand more accessible, we think that there could be something in the pipeline, even if it is only a quasi-M, like the M135i.
In other words, an X4 335i M could well be on the cards …