The launch of a new version of the X3 has provided BMW with the opportunity to reinvent its coupé SUV – what the brand calls a ‘Sports Activity Coupé’. The X3 and X4 are built together at the brand’s SUV plant in Spartanburg, USA.
Dealers are already opening order books for the new car, at prices starting from £42,900, and hope it will take sales from a growing number of rivals including the Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC and particularly the Range Rover Evoque.
The Mk2 X4 promises a better on-road performance, thanks to an extensively upgraded and lighter all-wheel-drive chassis. This has been made possible by using BMW’s latest platform, also employed under the X3.
It is a larger car than its predecessor – 8cm longer, 3cm wider and with the wheelbase stretched by 5cm. It is also lower, but only by 3mm, but with the swept-back body design emphasising the car’s coupé pretentions. BMW adds that the X4 boasts a perfect 50:50 weight distribution for handling prowess.
Initially, the X4 will be offered with four engine options, including two new M Performance models. These will be combined with bolder body styling to present a more performance-pitched image.
Three of the engines are diesels – 190hp 20d, 265hp 30d and the M40d with 326hp. The currently sole petrol option is also the most powerful, the M40i with 360hp and a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds.However, two more mainstream units are expected to join the range with 186 and 255hp respectively.
BMW has also gone to the X3 for the X4’s interior, the two being virtually identical. Redesigned sports seats offer a slightly higher driving position as part of a bid to take the car upmarket. The new X4 is being pitched as a more premium car, the starting price increased by some £4,000-plus over the outgoing model.