BMW introduced the Concept X4 in April at the Shanghai Auto Show. The X4, based on the X3 SAV, is slated for production as a 2014 model and represents BMW’s second Sports Activity Coupe. It will be built in BMW Spartanburg, South Carolina’s plant along side the X3, X5 and X6. Currently it is on display at the BMW Welt in Munich.
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The Concept X4 is finished in a stunning Long Beach Blue and sits a top some wicked cool new 10-spoke wheels. BMWBLOG had our first chance to see it in the flesh this week when we were visiting the BMW Welt. Clear glass that’s about knee high surrounds the X4 Concept so you cannot get close enough to touch it. My initial impression is that it’s a very sleek technical rework of an X3. I was perhaps expecting a mini-X6 but it’s not. The X6 has a tough athletic broad shouldered stance with bulging wheel arches and a much more tapered top by the back hatch.
From the side view, you might expect the X4 to be the same as the bigger X6 but when viewed dead on from the rear, the X4 seems to be more vertical and taper inward less. From this rear view, it really reminds me of the tapering treatment that is used in the BMW 3 Series GT opposed to that used on the X6. I am sure that this gives more usable interior space but some of the athletic appearance of the X6 is seems like it’s gone.
The X4 Concept has a very prominent kidney grille and the whole front-end sits rather upright in a way that reminds me of the X1’s front end. The kidney grille on the X4 seem to be a little more prominent than on other BMW models. The headlights are very sleek and narrowed, wrapping into the turn signals on the sides. The whole front-end has a multitude of chrome accents especially on the horizontal slats and on the air inlets just below the headlights. Of note is that the hood seems to lift at the grille and headlight line instead of putting a line across the front-end as in a 3, 4, 5 Series or even the new X5. This gives the hood a more uniform look and it has flowing aerodynamic creases that sweep back to the windshield.
The side view of the X4 looks very much like the X6, a sleek and rapidly tapering back-end which starts at the B pillar to give the “coupe” appearance. The door sills do not sweep upward as much as they do in the X6 giving what seems to be a larger back window in the X4. There are two air flow lines instead of the patented sculpted single line BMW has used for years. The side view is my favorite since it also shows off some gorgeous and very large five-double spoke wheels that have a small fender/wheel gap for a Sport Ute. This squat appearance alludes to what should be a more sporting and dynamic ride compared to the X3. It will be interesting to see if the X4 gets an M treatment.
The rear view described above also includes some very nice technique-looking tail lights. These looked similar to the one’s on the 4 Series Concept but were dropped on the production version. Hopefully the BMW X4 will be able to keep these new designs as they are beautiful as well as functional. The exhaust tips are deftly sculpted into the rear bumper also in a similar manner that was used in the 4 Series Concept but dropped on the 4 Series production version.
BMW says that the new X4 Concept “offers a preview of the future of the BMW X family.” Woth the new X5 just having been unveiled and the X6 yet to come, this promises to be a short preview.
Postulating on cost: The X6 costs $59,800 which is $7,000 more than an X5, so applying the 13.2% jump in base price of $39,600 of the X3 gives our estimate of $45,000 for the X4 base price. Given the resounding success of the X6, we eagerly await the production version of the X4 and more importantly to see if it drives as good it looks.
[Photos: Chuck Vossler]