The proliferation of coupé-SUV models will mean you’re now familiar with the concept. BMW describes the new X4 as a ‘sports activity coupé’ but in principle this is typical fare: simply a five-seat SUV with a sloping rear roofline, and as such it trades passenger space and boot volume for a dash more ‘elegance’.
In terms of width and length, the X4 M Competition is comparable to the latest 3 Series, but its height, along with substantial air intakes, 21in wheels and aggressive details, such as the rear diffuser and gurney flap on the bootlid, give it the presence of a far larger car.
In short, you’re unlikely to miss it pass by, but the hardware beneath the bodywork is of greater interest. For a start, the six-cylinder S58 engine, although developed from the B58 found in the X4 M40i, is almost entirely new, with a redesigned block, cylinder head, pistons and crankshaft. The two turbochargers are controlled by electric actuators, while improved intake and exhaust tracts mean 503bhp (473bhp for the non-Competition X4 M, which isn’t available in the UK) can now be achieved without resorting to watercooling, as was necessary for the old M4 GTS. This is the most powerful six-cylinder engine ever fitted to a production BMW, and it delivers peak torque across a much broader band than the outgoing S55, even if the 7300rpm redline is lower.