The first-generation BMW X4 was a bit of an oddity. On one hand, it was actually a pretty good car, with surprisingly good driving dynamics, decent performance, solid ride quality and a high-performance M40i variant. On the other hand, it was odd looking and made BMW fans feel as if the brand was diluting past the point of no return. However, it was a sales success, at least enough to warrant a second generation. With that second generation, there will also be a full-on M Division variant, the BMW X4 M, which will also be the first of its kind. That very M car was just recently caught doing some winter testing and it seems to be visually improved over the car it replaces. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

While the current-gen BMW X4 offers its M40i M Performance variant, there isn’t a proper M version. This test mule that’s just been caught in the snow seems to be such a car. The dead giveaway is its exhaust layout. All BMW M Performance cars have dual exhaust, with one tip flanking each side of the rear. All proper BMW M cars have quad exhausts, with two tips flaking either side. This BMW X4 test mule has the latter. So it’s quite clearly a BMW X4 M.

It also seems to have quite large drilled rotors and big front air intakes. Aside from that, it looks like a pretty basic BMW X4. It’s even wearing pretty normal looking BMW wheels. Though, expect the actual car to be a bit more aggressive, as this is just a test mule and a winter one at that. So it’s probably not wearing its full production running gear.

Though, that does help us learn a bit about what the standard BMW X4 will look like and it looks like it will be an improvement over the current car. The new one is certainly smoother and less frumpy, even if it does still look a bit like an egg in its silhouette. The front end looks very much like the new BMW X3, which is a good thing, and the new rear taillights look better. Overall, it just seems to be much better looking than the car it replaces.

We’re excited for the next-gen BMW X4, especially the X4 M. The BMW X3 M40i took us by surprise and quickly became one of our favorite new BMWs (my personal favorite current BMW of all) and that’s only an M Performance model. We can only imagine what the M Division can do with a proper BMW X4 M.

[Source: Auto Express]