RAC Cars News


BMW X4 Testing The Waters

By raccars Published

From heavily disguised test mule spy shots to just a spattering of camouflage on the front end, BMW's X4 is growing in confidence, seen out and about recently. The official production version is due to break cover early next year at January's Detroit Motor Show.

The latest shots show the X4 to have changed fairly little from the Shanghai Motor Show concept version. It's more graceful than the X3 on which it is based, which looks extra boxy by comparison and in general more reminiscent of the BMW X6, shrunken to a more compact form. The relationship to the donor car should mirror that of the X6 to the X5. Essentially, the X4 and X6 are the X3 and X6 in flightier, more slanted guise, more nimble, more modern and slightly less practical. Sleek angles and a pitched roofline lend a sporty air, while the large air intakes and typical double kidney grille at the front are unmistakably BMW.

The back retains the X6's ticked up silhouette and substantial overhang, while the concept version's rear bumper exhaust exits have given way to a more traditional double tailpipe set up. The testing version looks like an M Sport model, so the bumpers and alloys are on the chunky side.

At the moment, the interior is something of a mystery, but from the outside, the roofline's decline looks set to compromise headroom for rear passengers, as has been found in the X6. The BMW X3's superior 550 litre cargo space is likely to be reduced to something like 500 litres in the larger X4, thanks to its coupe-like proportions. What has been seen of the cabin so far apes the X3, with a substantial centre display set in a recess and minimal, curvy instrument binnacle.

Information is also scarce on the engine line up. Industry rumour suggests a parallel arrangement to the X3, meaning an entry level 2.0 litre diesel model, with 181bhp and a funkier 3.0 litre version, with 254bhp. There will also be some petrol choices, such as a four cylinder turbocharged 2.0 litre unit with 242bhp and a six cylinder 3.0 litre job with 302bhp. Using the same platform architecture as that car, there should be the same option of rear and all wheel drive models.

After the official introduction in January, the X4 is expected to reach showrooms pretty swiftly at a starting price point of about £30,000.

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