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This is the BMW X4, and because you are a human of magnificent deductive capabilities, you have already figured out what it is. Just as the X6 was a coupe-ficated X5, so this is a slinkier, squished-bum version of BMW’s X3. Welcome to Planet MicroNiche.

BMW calls the X4 a concept, but it isn’t. This model - previewed on our Internet ahead of its motor show reveal in Shanghai later this month - precedes a full production model X4 next year. Better get used to it then.

The press bumf refers to ‘tight contours’, ‘outstanding performance and driving dynamics’ and ‘eye-catching’ proportions. Tough to argue with the latter. The X4 has the same wheelbase and body length as the BMW X3, but is wider and lower than that car.

See more pics of the new BMW X4 Concept

Alas, no details have been given about the chassis, though if it mirrors the X3, you’re looking at comfortable, slightly softened-around-the-edges capability that - as in the BMW 3 Series GT also - lacks the full BMW ‘zing’. That said, the X6 is a bemusingly focused drive for its size, so by SUV standards (if you can call this an SUV) it might be quite a steer.

No word on engines either, but you can certainly expect BMW’s most excellent 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre diesel engines to appear in 184bhp, 258bhp and 313bhp variants. In the X3 35d as a guide, that 3.0-litre accelerates from 0-62mph in just 5.8 seconds, hits a top speed of 149mph and returns a claimed 46.3mpg. These are Good Numbers. We also hope the M Division chaps will get a bit bored after work and decide to kit out a few X4s with that simply magnificent triple-turbo 3.0-litre with 376bhp that slots in the X6 M50d…

For now then, it remains a design exercise, and there’s quite a chunk of design going on here. There’s a rather aggressive front apron, full LED headlights, that sweeping, coupe roofline with a pair of swage lines defining the sides, 21in light alloy wheels hiding in huge arches that - says BMW - provides a showcase for the all-wheel-drive system, and a very sporty rear bumper. Have a click through the pics and let us know below what you think.

See more pics of the new BMW X4 Concept

If you’re wondering ‘why’ - and well you might - here’s the reason: one in four new BMWs sold across the globe is now an X model, so there are big numbers riding on the X4. But, with the aforementioned BMW 3 Series GT - which looks an awful lot like this X4 - are we getting too much of the same custard? And would you rather have this than the excellent 3-Series Touring, our reigning Family Car of the Year?

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