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Geneva show: BMW races new X4 to market

4 more: BMW’s X4 SUV coupe is again closely based on the X3 wagon that was launched in Australia in November.

Latest BMW X4 set to follow new X3 into Australia by a matter of months

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BMW logo14 Feb 2018

By RON HAMMERTON

JUST four years after launching its first-generation X4 coupe SUV, BMW has popped out an all-new model, again based on the near-identical X3 wagon that arrived in Australia in its latest form in November.

The liftback X4 will be publicly unveiled at next month’s Geneva motor show before being launched in Australia in June, with deliveries starting in the third quarter.

The speed with which the latest X4 had been brought into production reflects BMW’s decision to develop it more in parallel with the X3 this time around.

Style-wise, the new version has nothing to shock current fans, with evolutionary changes to most elements, including the kidney grille that, like the X3’s, is more pronounced than before.

Like the X3, the X4 is bigger in most dimensions, growing 81mm in length (4752mm) and 37mm in width (1918mm).

At 2873mm, the wheelbase is 54mm longer, reflecting the switch to BMW’s modular CLAR architecture that underpins the German company’s new-generation models, including the 7 Series, 5 Series, X3 and upcoming X5, among others.

The bigger dimensions have contributed to an extra 27mm of legroom for rear-seat passengers, along with an extra 25 litres of luggage space, taking the boot capacity to 500L (25L more than the GLC Coupe).

The vehicle also sits a few millimetres lower than before, aiding handling, BMW says. A 50/50 weight distribution helps too.

With a ground clearance of 204mm and a wading depth of 500mm, the X4 has a measure of off-road ability.

With more aluminium and high-strength steel components this time, the new X4 is between 15kg and 50kg lighter – depending on the variant – than the superseded model that last year outsold the similarly conceived Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe in Australia by 1500 to 1063.

A slippery shape – this time 0.30Cd – is helped by active air vents into the grille that close in cool conditions.

In Europe, the X4 will be offered with the same three petrol and four diesel powertrains as the X3, but BMW Group Australia is yet to confirm the line-up for this market.

Pricing is also still under wraps, but expect a premium of up to $10,000 over the X3 that starts at $63,800 plus on-road costs for the entry-level petrol four-cylinder xDrive20i and $67,800 for the diesel xDrive2.0d.

For Australia, the top diesel offering will probably be the 3.0-litre turbo diesel xDrive30d, with its 195kW/620Nm output.

Later this year, we would expect the launch variants to be joined by an M-enhanced M40i packing 265kW of power and 500Nm of torque from its six-cylinder turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine.

Apart from a beefier engine, the M40i gets an M Sport exhaust system, M-specific suspension, steering and brakes, and an M Sport differential lock, plus bigger wheels and a few cosmetic niceties.

The X3 M40i is priced from $99,900, meaning the X3 version will be north of $100,000 – a first for the nameplate.

A diesel M40d with 240kW and 680Nm will be offered in Europe, but seems unlikely for Australia.

All engines will come with ZF’s tried and true eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel-drive system in its latest iteration that is said to be both lighter and more efficient that before.

Driving modes in entry variants will include comfort, eco-pro and sport, with top-end variants getting an extra sports plus mode.

Alloy wheels will range from 18 inches to 21 inches, depending on the variant and option pack.

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