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Future models - BMW - X4

New York show: BMW X4 set loose

Local touch: BMW calls this new X4 paint hue Melbourne Red.

BMW's all-new X4 'SAV' emerges ahead of Australian launch in August

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BMW logo6 Mar 2014

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

BMW has announced that its fifth crossover will launch in Australia in about August this year, just four months after its world premiere at April's New York motor show.

Dubbed the X4, it will be the second ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ in the Bavarian car-maker’s range after the controversial X6 to combine the jacked-up stance of an SUV with a five-door coupe body.

“It blends the hallmark features of the successful BMW X family with the sporting elegance of a classical coupe, and introduces the unique Sports Activity Coupe concept to the premium mid-size segment,” BMW claims.

With no direct competitor from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti or Lexus to contend with for now, the ‘F26’ X4 will follow in the X6’s footsteps in pioneering yet another new niche for the German brand.

A lucrative move on BMW’s behalf, the X6 has sold about 250,000 units over the last six years – well beyond initial expectations.

As the name implies, there is a size and architecture relationship with the recently released 4 Series range of two-door coupe (F32), convertible (F33) and five-door lift-back (F35 Gran Coupe) models, and are all derived from the current F30 3 Series platform.

Much of the hardware beneath the X4 is shared with the current F25 X3 – another 3 Series offshoot. This means a double-joint spring strut front axle and a five-link independent rear suspension system.

However no body panels are shared, with the highest point of the roof ending above the first row of seats, before it falls away to create the distinctive X6-style silhouette.

Key dimensional differences are length (at 4671mm the X4 is 14mm longer) and height (36mm lower at 1624mm), while inside the front-seat occupants sit some 20mm lower to the ground while the three in the rear are sat 28mm lower than in the X3.

The wheelbase for both models remains at 2810mm.

Cargo space has also been curtailed, with the X4 measuring in between 500 litres and 1400L – the latter aided by a 40:20:40 split rear backrest. The tailgate is mechanically operated, and is available with a foot-operated activator.

Six EU6-emissions rated internal combustion engines will be made available internationally at launch, made up of a trio of turbocharged petrol and diesel units apiece, split in 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder formats.

Each has all four wheels driven (known as xDrive in BMW-speak) via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Expect sDrive rear-drive versions to join the X4 range later on.

BMW is emphasising the high efficiency characteristics of each, with even the most powerful petrol version – the 225kW/400Nm X4 Xdrive35i capable of hitting 100km/h from standstill in just 5.5 seconds – returning 8.3-litres per 100km and a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 193 grams per kilometre on the European combined cycle.

The 230kW/630Nm 3.0-litre X4 xDrive35d diesel version, meanwhile, is 0.3s faster to 100km/h and a 2.3L/100km more frugal.

For now the other engine options are the 135kW/270Nm 2.0-litre xDrive20i (0-100km/h: 8.1s and 7.3L/100km), 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre xDrive28i (6.4s and 7.4L/100km), 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre xDrive20d (8.0s and 5.4L/100km) and 190kW/560Nm 3.0-litre xDrive30d (5.8s and 6.1L/100km).

Like most modern BMWs, technology such as idle-stop, Brake Energy Recuperation and on-demand operation for the various engine ancillary units like the alternator and electric power steering pump help preserve fuel.

Among the features to be made available are a head-up display unit, anti-dazzle High Beam Assist, radar-guided cruise control, and lane-departure and imminent collision warning systems.

Wheel sizes vary between 18 and 20-inches in size, while the colour palette extends beyond the X3’s to include a new hue called Melbourne Red.

Built alongside the X3, Australia-bound X4s will be sourced from BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant in the United States.

More information will be released after the X4’s international debut at the New York International Auto Show in mid-April.

The remaining X models in BMW’s artillery are the E84 X1 and F15 X5, while the F16 X6 – a spin-off from the latter – is believed to be being readied for a late-2014 release.

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