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LA show: BMW to the 4

What 4: BMW has done it again, designing this X4 Concept for its expanding “sports activity vehicle” range.

BMW's open-air 4 Series cruises into Hollywood, along with an X-rated mate


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21 Nov 2013

BMW has fired the next two shots in its 4 Series roll-out by using the Los Angeles motor show to formally unveil the slinky new 4 Series Convertible – the successor to the folding-top 3 Series – and to spring a slope-backed X4 concept that resembles a down-sized X6.

Comments from the show floor indicated a big thumbs up for the two-door 4 Series Convertible, which joins the new similarly styled, recently launched 4 Series Coupe in the BMW range forthwith in Europe and in Australia about March.

The reaction was more mixed for the X4, which has the same design awkwardness of the X6 but without as much machismo.

Based on the X3, it will be built in BMW's American SUV plant at Spartanburg, and presumably with a similar powertrain range.

The convertible continues with a three-piece folding hardtop like its predecessor, but gains an optional xDrive all-wheel drive system for those who venture into snowy areas.

BMW says that when closed, the roof offers enhanced acoustic comfort and opens in less than 20 seconds at the push of a button.

Three model variants will be available a launch – a turbocharged 420d diesel, petrol four-cylinder 428i, or a turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder 435i. Outputs range from 135kW to 225kW of power.

Gearbox choices are either a six-speed manual, or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The auto includes a function that decouples it from the engine at speeds above 50km/h to allow the convertible to coast along, saving fuel.

BMW says it is again breaking new ground with the X4, which it says creates a “whole new vehicle segment”.

“The BMW Concept X4 opens a window into the future expansion of the BMW X family,” it said in the media release at the show.

“The concept car combines the rugged looks of a BMW X model with the emotional and sporting aura of one of the brand’s coupes – and, in so doing, brings the Sports Activity Coupe concept so successfully coined by the BMW X6 to another new class.”

The X4 can be expected to go into production, probably next year, with an Australian launch date to be announced.

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