Expect to see a preview of BMW’s X4 SUV this January at the Detroit Auto Show. Earlier this year, BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer confirmed that this project was ongoing. According to BMW officials, the ute will make its debut as a near-production concept. It’s expected to compete with the looks, dimensions and packaging of the Porsche Macan, which will start being available for sale in North America in early 2014.
The all-wheel-drive X4 will use the same monocoque steel platform, engines and underpinnings as the second-generation X3. BMW will put in a higher slot on its lineup so that it becomes more profitable. To justify this, the SUV will get individual styling to convey a more sporting image. It’s expected to have a starting price of about $42,000.
The first time that we knew about BMW's plans to rival the Porsche Macan was two years ago on a Nov. 17, 2010 Autoweek article titled “Faceoff.” BMW was considering several design proposals in 2010. It was believed that the X4 will have a different look from the X3 similar to how the larger X6 is differentiated from the X5, with a bullish front end, plunging coupé-style roofline, four conventional front-hinged doors and a heavily angled one-piece tailgate.
BMW has yet to reveal what engine options are offered with the X4. Autoweek reported that it will get a combination of four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel units comparable to those already used by the X3.
The SUV will be offered with a top-of-the-line performance model from BMW's M division. While it isn’t official yet, we’ve learned that the X4 M that will arrive toward the end of 2014 will use a uniquely tuned version of the twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder gasoline engine set to be used in the upcoming sixth-generation M3.
BMW is also planning a hot X4 M diesel (that probably won’t be available in North America) that will use a detuned version BMW's tri-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine first seen in the X5 and X6 M. It will be a member of a quickly growing range of BMW M Performance models.
Looking at the front end of the new BMW X4 Concept, this study apparently dons the brand’s signature dynamics as complemented by the typical rugged purpose of a BMW X model. Nobody can mistake the BMW X4 Concept for another brand’s SUV as it proudly features BMW’s hallmark large kidney grille and the twin circular headlights. To give the front end of the BMW X4 Concept more depth, the carmaker provided it with some three-dimensional details.
For instance, the kidney grille seems to be stretching out while its high-gloss frame is open to the sides and to the lower section. This styling makes the grille seemingly floating, as reinforced by the sculptured bars with a number of detailing. Likewise, the grille features high-gloss black bars, which has a milled lower third that features matt finishing. Additionally, the grille comes with extra air intakes to direct more cooling air to the engine bay.
Flanking the kidney grille are contoured full-LED headlights, the inside of which is a hexagonal interpretation of the BMW twin circular looks. Since the inner light elements are horizontally visually linked with the grille, they help highlight the width of the new BMW X4 Concept at the front.
On the other hand, the front apron of the new BMW X4 Concept – in line with BMW Coupe tradition – features side air intakes that are larger than the inner units. These large side air intakes articulate how much cooling air is needed by the study’s powerful engine. They – along with the concept’s low center gravity and wide track – help tell how much of a performer the new BMW X4 Concept is.