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The Top Gear car review:BMW X4 M
For:Easy-access pace, brakes hold up very well, smartly-finished interior
Against:Shoddy ride, characterless engine, not as rounded as the much cheaper M40i
What is it?
If BMW is to be believed, it’s basically the new M4 a year early, only, a bit taller. The X4 M was developed to behave like an ‘M4 X’, we’re told: a taller sports-saloon instead of a faster crossover.
Powering it is M Division’s new 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight-six engine, which has been in development for almost five years. It has no hybrid assistance, no water-injection system (like the old M4 GTS) and is smaller than AMG’s fabulous V8, yet it’s just as powerful.
The standard X4 M makes 473bhp, and in the X4 M Competition version we’re driving here, you get 503bhp. Both versions generate 442lb ft of torque. That means you can go from 0-62mph in under 4.5 seconds, run on to beyond 175mph if you could unhook the limiter. The new M4 may be quicker still, but does it need to be?
Underneath, the X4 M is a compilation of the latest M5’s greatest hits. The same four-wheel-drive system (albeit without the party trick of going rear-wheel drive only, thank heavens), the same electronic rear differential, and the same choice of many modes and settings for the car’s behaviour.
So, choose from an Efficient, Sport or Sport Plus engine and gearbox, and Comfort / Sport / Sport Plus steering and suspension modes. There are two tempting red ‘M’ shortcut buttons on the steering wheel to quickly arrive at your chosen combination.
And with that, let’s get to the bit that all M cars worth their tricolore should excel at: the driving.