No form, no function
Oh dear, BMW’s doing another one of these things . . .
A NEW X fighter is cleared for take-off and a planned landing in Australia is scheduled for next year.
TheBMWX4, to be previewed as a concept car at the Shanghai motor show this month, is already a certainty for production as the German brand stretches its SUV stable.
It’s the junior development of the super-macho X6, a little daintier in the details but still a cross between a coupe and a high-riding SUV.
The X4 is likely to be priced from about $63,000, which would make the Range Rover Evoque its most likely rival. Porsche is also expected to compete with its coming Macan.
Its mechanical package is donated by the X3 wagon but there are major changes to the body as BMW looks to cash in on the worldwide success of the X6.
‘‘It’s a concept that seems to be gaining support. It blends the X features of an SUV with the design elegance of a coupe,’’ BMW Australia product planning boss Toni Andreevski tells Carsguide.
‘‘With X6 we introduced a new concept. It’s been a tremendous success internationally and in Australia we’ve sold more than 2000. This year X6 sales are again up by more than 20 per cent.’’
BMW describes the X4 Concept as a sports activity vehicle and all of its early communication is focused on the design. But it’s big, with an overall length of 4.8m and standing 1.6m tall, and rolls on 21-inch alloys.
Andreevski sees a clear opening for the X4, although he is not ready to talk about a potential extension of the Mrange into the newcomer.
‘‘We would like to extend the X family further, but also put a more emotional product in the mid-sized segment. It’s something that’s clearly differentiated from the X3.’’
He is clear on timing for the X4 and fairly open about pricing. ‘‘We’d like to see it in Australia in 2014 . . . about the third quarter,’’ he says.
‘‘You could imagine it costing anywhere between $3000-$5000 more than an equivalent X3. At least a couple of thousand dollars more.’’