With the recent news of BMW’s upcoming X4 M40i, BMW may finally have the firepower it needs to take down Porsche’s mighty Macan Turbo.
Coming at the end of 2015, the X4 M40i will be the performance variant of the X4. It will have an upgraded N55 TwinPower turbocharged I6 engine, developing somewhere between 360 and 380 horsepower, a revised ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s latest xDrive all-wheel drive system. It will also have some sporty exterior and interior touches, such as new front and rear bumpers and an M steering wheel with paddle shifters.
The X4 M40i will take on rivals from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche, such as the GLC AMG, RS Q3 and Macan Turbo, respectively. With the X4’s already exceptional dynamics, for a largish SAV that is, it should easily dispatch the former two rivals. However, Porsche’s Macan Turbo has been dominating the small SUV world since its inception. Credit where credit’s due, the Macan Turbo is sensational. And the X4, in any variant, has had a hard time competing with it. However, this M40i variant should have a puncher’s chance.
While the Macan Turbo’s 400 horsepower is considerably more than the X4 M40i’s possible 380, the M40i will weigh around 500 lbs less, negating the horsepower difference. The X4 M40i should boast a 10lb per hp ratio, while the Macan Turbo has an 11lb per hp ratio. There’s also BMW’s penchant for underrating its power figures. So expect the X4 M40i to be just as quick as the Macan Turbo, and maybe even faster considering the its power-to-weight advantage.
In terms of handling, the Macan Turbo is basically a jacked up sports car, giving most actual sports cars a run for their money. The X4 is quite good as it is, but unfortunately can’t hang with the Macan in the twisties. For now, that is. The M40i version will boast some chassis tweaks, a stiffer suspension, better brakes and lighter wheels. So maybe that’s enough of a boost to put the X4 M40i within striking distance of the Macan Turbo.
The X4 xDrive35i is already a surprisingly good car, but the M40i should be very good. It’s actually something I’m looking forward to very much, because I think it has a real shot of competing with the Macan Turbo. Factor in all of the upgrades, its better power-to-weight ratio, revised chassis dynamics and more powerful engines, and the X4 M40i sounds like a very compelling alternative. Especially considering it’s probably going to be considerably less expensive than the ridiculously highly priced Macan Turbo. It’s going to be an interesting matchup, but I have a feeling the X4 M40i is going to be a very close competitor.