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Detroit show: Elusive X4 flagship lands in US

Left out: BMW’s American-built X4 M40i will only be built in left-hand drive, meaning no M40i for you, Aussie.

M-enhanced BMW X4 M40i ruled out for Australia where diesel will be tops


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12 Jan 2016

BMW’S new X4 flagship, the M Performance twin-turbo 3.0-litre M40i, stepped into the public spotlight at this week’s Detroit motor show ahead of its roll-out across North America where it will built alongside BMW’s other ‘X’ models at its Spartanburg plant.

Only available in left-hand drive, the sportiest version of BMW’s mid-sized slope-backed SUV with its all-new blown inline six is off the table for Australia, unless the powers-that-be in Munich have a change of heart.

Instead, BMW Group Australia will depend on the most potent diesel version, the X4 xDrive35d, to carry the performance flag for the crossover against rivals such as Audi’s SQ5.

The $89,900 (plus on-road costs) X4 35d will be launched in Australia along with the front-wheel-drive X1 sDrive this month.

Replacing the X4 30d, the 35d employs a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 230kW of power and 630Nm of torque that enables it to scoot from zero to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds.

This compares with the petrol X4 M40i’s 265 kW/465Nm and 0-100km sprint time of 4.9 seconds.

However, the diesel has the jump on fuel consumption, chewing just 6.0 litres per 100km, compared with the petrol car’s 8.6L/100km on the combined test cycle.

BMW Group Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher confirmed to GoAuto that the X4 M40i had been ruled out for Australia because it is not built in right-hand drive.

“If that changes, and it is offered in right-hand drive, we would be delighted to look at a business case for it,” she said.

Apart from the hot new inline six-cylinder engine that is making its world debut at the Detroit show, the X4 M40i gets a sprinkling of silver-painted accents on items such as the side mirrors and grille, along with 20-inch alloy wheels, sports exhaust with chrome-black twin tailpipes and sportier suspension settings with stiffer springs and stabiliser bars and adaptive dampers.

Inside, M Performance touches include M leather steering wheel and transmission selector knob.

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