The new SUV was confirmed for production by BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer earlier this year. It is set to make its debut as a near-production-ready concept that will reveal the appearance and dimensions of the Porsche Macan rival that is due to go on sale in the UK in early 2014, according to highly placed BMW officials.
Although the four-wheel-drive X4 is set to share its monocoque steel platform, engines and underpinnings with the second-generation X3, it is earmarked to receive more coupé-like styling in a move intended to give it a more sporting image and enable BMW to position it higher in its line-up for added profitability. Prices are expected to start at around £32,000 in the UK.
A series of design proposals made official by BMW in 2010 suggest that the X4 will differ visually from the X3 in much the same way that the larger X6 is distinguished from the X5, with a bullish front end, plunging coupé-style roofline and heavily angled tailgate.
Alongside standard versions of the new SUV will be a range-topping performance model from BMW’s M division. Nothing is official just yet, but the X4 M, due out towards the end of 2014, is planned to run a uniquely tuned version of the twin-turbocharged straight six petrol engine that is set to appear in the upcoming sixth-generation M3.
Also planned is a hot X4 M40d running a detuned version of BMW’s triple-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six diesel, launched in the X5 and X6 M50d. It will form part of a fast-expanding range of new BMW M Performance models.