BMW is preparing to debut its second-generation X4 at the Geneva motor show next month ahead of a fierce battle in the style-led premium SUV segment against rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and Range Rover Evoque.
Sister car to the recently introduced third-generation X3, the new BMW model is slated to hit Australian shores during the third-quarter of 2018 though prices are yet to be revealed.
However, officials from the German maker suggest the new X4 will be pitched above its predecessor in a reflection of increased performance and features for the new five-seater.
The coupe-style SUV is being launched just four years after the first-generation model, which has garnered close to 200,000 sales worldwide, arrived in showrooms back in 2014. Its introduction has been driven by the mechanically identical third-generation X3 that was released last year and the two models will be assembled on the same production line at BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, USA.
Sitting on the same CLAR platform as the X3 that was first introduced with the latest-generation 7-series, the X4 features a 50kg reduction in kerb weight and more rigid structure through the greater use of aluminium as well as high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel.
However, the claimed reduction in weight of the X4’s body structure is offset by an increase in size, leading to a kerb weight for the base X4 xDrive20i that is just 15kg less than its predecessor at 1720kg though it claims a perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.
BMW says the new X4 eclipses the dynamic qualities of its predecessor and like the latest X3 it adopts a new double wishbone front suspension setup featuring aluminium swivel bearings, tubular anti-roll bar and other lightweight components in a move to reduce unsprung masses.
Standard on all models are M-Sport suspension, speed sensitive power steering and a range of different electronic assistance systems.
It has also been engineered to handle mild off-road excursions with a ground clearance of 204mm, fording depth of 500mm and receives hill descent control and hill start assist as standard.
BMW head of design, Adrian van Hooydonk, says the X4 continues a design lineage explored with the new X3 featuring what he describes as “the pared-back use of forms,” with the two cars sharing similar design elements all over.
Up front, the new BMW flaunts a traditionally styled kidney grille and angular LED headlamps in combination with a restructured bumper boasting large cooling ducts and slim line LED fog lamps.
Further back, there is a contoured bonnet, chamfered wheel arches and largely unadorned flanks. Like its predecessor, the new X4 also receives a heavily curved roof – the highest point of which sits above the front seats. There’s also an eight-window glasshouse and large liftback style tailgate featuring an unusually flat spoiler element – the middle part of which is recessed into the tailing edge of the roof.
The rear, meanwhile, is distinguished by a slender C-pillar that controversially dispenses with the classic Hofmeister kick for a new graphic. It is joined by a high rear deck, new horizontally mounted LED tail lamps and a deep bumper assembly featuring a black valance panel on more up-market models.
The X3’s interior design carries over to the X4 that features premium materials, redesigned sport seats with added support and claimed improvements in refinement.
The rear seat has also grown by 27mm and the boot by 25 litres to 525 litres of cargo space.
BMW’s latest-generation iDrive infotainment is loaded onto either a 6.5 or 10.3-inch touch-screen display and features the same rotary controller system found all of BMW’s new models.
Driver assistance technology includes AEB with collision and pedestrian warning, stop and go adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and speed limit info with traffic sign recognition displayed on a 70 per cent larger heads-up screen.
The new X4 will initially be produced with a four-cylinder petrol and diesel engine, each offered in two states of tune. Details for the Australian line-up are yet to be divulged though local buyers can expect at least three of the initial four models to be available here.
The turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine delivers 135kW and 290Nm of torque in the X4 xDrive20i and 185kW and 350Nm in the X4 xDrive30i. It is joined by a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel unit offering 140kW and 400Nm in the X4 xDrive20d and a gutsier 170kW and 500Nm in the X4 xDrive25d.
Of the launch models, the X4 xDrive30i boasts the strongest performance with an official 0-100km/h time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 240km/h, while the X4 xDrive20d leads on economy and emissions with a claimed combined cycle average of 5.4L/100km and CO2 rating 142g/km.
The two four-pot engines will be joined by two new six-cylinder petrol and diesel-powered M Performance models after launch that will wear M40i and M40d badges.
The performance-leading X4 M40i runs the latest evolution of BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine that develops the same 265kW as its predecessor but receives an added 35Nm of torque at 500Nm for an official 0-100km/h time of 4.8sec, limited 250km/h top speed and claimed fuel consumption of 9.0L/100km.
New to the line-up, the X4 M40d features BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 240kW and 620Nm of torque to provide a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.9sec, top speed of 250km/h and average fuel consumption of 6.4L/100km.
Mirroring moves with the latest X3, the new X4 comes standard with an eight-speed torque converter automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles on all but the price conscious X4 xDrive20i and X4 xDrive20d.
The new X4 is expected to launch locally in the third quarter of 2018 though pricing and specifications for Australian models is yet to be announced.
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