I’ve been snooping the interwebs the past couple of days and reading quite a bit about the BMW X4 M40i. First, some images were leaked and we got a teaser of what it’s going to look like and then we finally got the official images and info from BMW itself. In a nutshell, the X4 M40i is an M-tuned version of the X4, much in the same fashion as the BMW M235i, but isn’t a full on M car. It has an M Performance engine (which will also feature in the BMW M2) making 360 hp, upgraded suspension, brakes and aerodynamics and can get from 0-60 mph in under five seconds. It’s a go-fast BMW X4 essentially.
This isn’t surprising, as we knew it was coming. BMW had rumored such a vehicle quite a while ago and it’s been making go-fast variants of its SUVs for a decade now, so this X4 M40i should come as no shock to anyone. However, it’s shocking just how shocked people seem to be. After scouring the wonderful world of the internet, enthusiasts are outraged with the X4 M40i and demand BMW’s head for creating such a supposedly vile vehicle. But why? Where is this hatred coming from? I feel like I’m the only one who actually likes the little brute.
I get that enthusiasts are generally quite closed-minded and only want lightweight, lithe rear-wheel drive sports cars and anything else is heresy, especially from BMW. But you’d imagine that the fast-SUV haters would have gotten over it by now, as the X5 and X6 have both had true M variants for years now. This is nothing new, yet people are treating the X4 M40i as if it were the Mark David Chapman to BMW’s John Lennon. The outrage is flabbergasting.
I, for one, am excited about the X4 M40i. The BMW X4 was always an intriguing car to me, as it’s sportier than the X3, which already drives quite well, yet is still quite practical. So the X4 could be a very good Jack of all Trades type vehicle. It also looks good, to my eye, handles well and was fast to begin with. The standard X4 was on par with the Porsche Macan, in terms of fun and handling, as it was. Now add a sportier suspension, a more powerful engine and better looks and you’ve got one helluva little sport SUV. Plus, I think it wears the “Performance SUV Coupe” look better than the X6 M.
When Porsche comes out with the Cayenne Turbo S, everyone raves about how it’s both practical and incredibly fast. It’s the Holy Grail for performance enthusiasts with families, right? But when BMW does it, it’s heresy and BMW’s selling out by making big frumpy and lumpy barges. I even saw one commenter refer to BMW as “The Ultimate Poser Machine” because of the M40i. That’s ridiculous, as Porsche has the Macan S, Audi has the SQ5 and no one bats an eye. The hypocrisy is ridiculous.
I’ve been thinking about cars like the BMW X4 M40i, as well as the X5 M and X6 M, a lot lately. Back in the days of the BMW 1600 and 2002, BMW made small sports cars with nimble handling that could navigate the tight, windy roads of Germany, Bavaria and the rest of Europe with a family in tow. They were practical and enjoyable. They fit the times, when families didn’t need or want anything bigger. BMW is doing the exact same this now, but just catering to a new audience. The world is much bigger than just the windy roads of Europe and the world’s market wants SUVs. So BMW is developing practical and enjoyable vehicles for the world’s current roads that also have the ability to fit the entire family. BMW is neither heretical nor is it selling out. It’s just moving on with the times and so should we.
So am I the only one excited about the BMW X4 M40i?