Car news

06 March 2014

This is the BMW X4

BMW's given the X3 the 'swoopy roof' treatment. The X4 is what it has ended up with

Amaan Ahmed
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If you are a car manufacturer, we hate to break it to you, but with effect from today, there is one niche less for you to exploit. The thing is, BMW, the king of niche-busting, has concocted yet another vehicle that would leave most people scratching their heads, but many others scurrying for their chequebooks. This new item is called the BMW X4, and what it is, is an X3 that wants to be a coupe.

No, wait. Come to think of it, it's actually a 3 Series that wants to be a coupe-SUV. The X4 shares its basic underpinnings with the X3, which in turn is actually a 3 Series underneath, but BMW maintains that the X4 is decidedly schportier than the X3. Why, to set that straight, the X4 is only a smidgen longer than the X3, but is 1.5 inches lower than it, with the driver sitting a massive 20 millimetres lower than in the X3. Poor man's X6, rich man's X3, confused man's 3 Series - it can play all those roles, that's for sure.

It is supposed to be a whole lot more dynamic than an X3, and not just in terms of looks. So, BMW will provide a choice of six powerplants for the X4, which includes three petrols, and three diesels. The petrol line-up includes the xDrive35i, powered by the Z4's 3.0-litre straight-six (302bhp, 400Nm, 0-100: 5.5s, 247kph), and the 3 Series' 2.0-litre four-pot turbo in two different states of tune: the xDrive28i (241bhp, 350Nm, 0-100: 6.4s), and the xDrive20i (181bhp, 270Nm, 0-100: 8.1s). And despite the petrols being fairly fast, BMW says that the most powerful of them all, the 35i, will still do 12 kilometres to the litre.

Speaking of diesel engines, let's start with the smallest in the range. It all begins with the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder xDrive20d that makes 188bhp and 400Nm of torque, and cracks 100kph in eight seconds flat. It will also do 18.5 kpl, according to BMW. Next in line is the xDrive30d, with a 3.0-litre, 255bhp, 560Nm straight-six that does the sprint to 100kph in 5.8 seconds. The range-topper here is the xDrive35d, with the same engine as that on the 30d, only here, the motor puts out 308bhp and an astonishing 630Nm of spin. 0-100 is done away with in 5.2 seconds, and the top speed's the same as the 35i's. To add the cherry on top, BMW claims the 35d can return 16kpl. Isn't that just the niche product-buying Indian's wet dream?

There is an option of choosing between a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic abroad, but the only gearbox we'll be getting here will be the eight-speeder. And unlike the new X5 that can be had in rear-wheel drive flavour, the X4 is strictly all-wheel drive.

Space on the inside should suffice for five people, thinks BMW, but you know the sloping roofline will ensure you never have even slightly tall friends travelling anywhere with you. There is a raft of safety equipment onboard -  the Intelligent Emergency Call function is standard, while High Beam Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus including Pedestrian and Collision Warning with City Braking function, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Lane Departure Warning and Parking Assist can be added to the package, too.

The X4 will make its public debut at the New York Auto Show next month, with production commencing at BMW's plant in USA shortly after that. As understood, it will sit between the X3 and the X5 in BMW's line-up, will soon have its very own M version, and will come to India sometime next year.

What do you think of the X6's baby brother, dotcommers? And which other niche would you like to see BMW have a go at next? A convertible two-door X4 called the X4.75 sound good to you?

Tags: bmw, x4

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