What's the news?
This is the all-new, second-generation BMW X4, a 'coupe SUV' that shares much with the X3. It's due to make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
In much the same way as the old X4 was the contemporary Mk2 X3 up to the A-pillars, so the new X4 looks like the current X3 - until you get aft of the windscreen. Then, the sloping rear hatch, smoothed-off rear end (which is aesthetically reminiscent of the established Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe) and generally lower appearance mark out the X4.
Physically, the new model is 50kg lighter than before and it also has a broader track and a lower centre-of-gravity than the old X4 to enhance driving dynamics, while it is 81mm longer with a wheelbase stretched by 54mm, and it's 37mm wider too. All models will get bi-LED headlights as standard with the full LED 'Icon' lamps offered as an option, while technologies from the X3 - such as an acoustic windscreen and active air flaps - will be drafted in. Five new colours for the body are Phytonic Blue, Terra Brown, Sparkling Storm, Flamingo Red and Sunstone metallic, wheel sizes range from 18 to 21 inches and the coefficient of drag for the X4's slippery body is an impressive 0.30. All X4s will get an automatic tailgate and twin, spaced exhausts as standard.
BMW has introduced the 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment screen, with touch and gesture control capabilities, as well as a 12-inch digital instrument cluster with a black panel design. The door bins in the front are said to be able to take one-litre bottles, while options include a head-up display, three-zone climate control, Ambient Air and a Sensatec faux-leather upper dashboard finish. The X4's boot is also bigger by 25 litres, now carrying 525 litres with all five seats in place, and it can be enlarged by folding down the standard-fit 40:20:40 rear seat backs using handy levers placed in the boot.
Again, much of the engine and drivetrain hardware from the X3 is deployed, although there's a new addition at the top of the diesel tree, which we'll come onto in just a second. In essence, there are four 'regular' X4s, two petrol and two diesel models, and all of them have four-cylinder engines. Then there are two M Performance six-cylinder derivatives, bringing the total number of launch-engine choices to six; actually, the petrol-fuelled M Performance X4 is a late starter, joining sometime after the original engine offerings, and also later in 2018 a six-cylinder, 3.0-litre, 265hp/620Nm X4 xDrive30d will join this range.
For now, things kick off on the petrol side with the 2.0-litre X4 xDrive20i (184hp, 290Nm, 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds, 215km/h top speed, up to 39.8mpg and best CO2 of 163g/km), before the same 2.0 engine is uprated for the X4 xDrive30i (252hp, 350Nm, 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds, 240km/h, 39.2mpg and 164g/km). Switch over to diesel and there's a 2.0-litre, single-turbo unit in the X4 xDrive20d (190hp, 400Nm, 0-100km/h in 8.0 seconds, 213km/h, 52.3mpg and 142g/km) that is sure to be the biggest seller in most markets, including our own, while the X4 xDrive25d (231hp, 500Nm, 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds, 230km/h, 51.4mpg and 145g/km) is the same engine, but with two turbochargers instead of one. As the 'xDrive' in their badging suggests, all four models here have four-wheel drive and they all come as standard with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
The same drive/gearbox arrangement is true of the two M Performance derivatives. The 3.0-litre petrol M40i has already been seen in the X3 range and is going to be of minority interest here, despite healthy numbers of 360hp, 500Nm, a 4.8-second 0-100km/h time and a limited 250km/h top speed, along with its eco-stats of 31.4mpg and 209g/km CO2.
So, it's the new M40d that's of most interest to high-performance SUV fans. This uses a twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-six diesel to churn out 326hp at 4,400rpm, with a colossal 680Nm of torque on tap from 1,750- to 2,750rpm. That means it's almost every bit as quick as the M40i, recording a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds and limited to the same 250km/h maximum, but it can apparently turn in 44.1mpg and 170g/km CO2. Expect this M40d engine to turn up in the X3 range, before too long.
BMW says that, aside from all the chassis goodness that makes the X4 fun to drive, it will also have an emphasis on safety - 'state-of-the-art' driving assistance systems will incorporate clearly-labelled packages like Driving Assistant Plus, which features Steering and Lane Control Assistant with Lane Keeping Assistant and Side-Collision Protection.
Since it launched in 2014, BMW has sold more than 200,000 examples of the X4 worldwide. Following its premiere in Geneva in early March, the German carmaker is clearly hoping the second-gen X4 will continue that healthy showroom success.
The order book for the BMW X4 in Ireland opens tomorrow (February 15). The X4 xDrive20d starts at €67,190 on-the-road, with the X4 M40d at €90,675.