country roads and BMW’s A judicious mix of American ample racetrack offered us performance centre its paces. the new BMW X4 through opportunities to put was like Here is what the experience
More compact sports activity coupé follows in its elder’s footsteps well
We were invited to Spartanburg in South Carolina, USA, the home of BMW SUVs, to drive the all-new BMW X4. The global production of all BMW X models is done in Spartanburg. After the success of the first generation X4, BMW have revamped the new X4 which is now based on the all-new X3.
At the centre of the striking front end stands a large BMW kidney grille in a three-dimensional look. Twin headlamp units with dynamic contours and horizontal fog-lamps integrated into the outer air intakes form a new interpretation of the familiar six-eyed face. All of the light functions feature LED technology.
The precise shoulder-line, which takes in the door handles en route to the rear lights, and the character line between the wheel-arches break up the surfaces of the car’s flanks. This creates clearly defined haunches, which are additionally emphasized by the drawn-in glasshouse at the rear. The coupé-style roof-line slides into the rear window elegantly before dipping down steeply to the rear. The window graphic also underlines the dynamic proportions of the all-new BMW X4, thanks to a smoothly rising sill line that merges at the base of the C-pillars.
Clearly structured surfaces and horizontal lines shape the car’s tail. The LED rear lights, with their three-
dimensional shape, are slim in design and positioned at the extreme edges of the rear. Together with the twin exhaust tailpipes they magnify the width of the car’s rear.
The low instrument panel and the slightly raised seating position typical of BMW X models afford the driver a superb view of what’s happening on the road ahead. The driver-focused layout of the cockpit helps to create a supremely assured and wonderfully sporty driving experience at all times. Redesigned sports seats with boldly contoured side bolsters provide outstanding lateral support even in extreme handling situations.
Top-class material, precise build quality, and a host of meticulously crafted details set the tone for the modern and individual premium character of the all-new BMW X4. The surfaces of the instrument panel and door panelling merge smoothly into one another, while the “X” logos embossed into the electroplated surfaces of the front and rear doors are eye-catching details. The ambient lighting — adding extra light sources around the centre console, instrument panel, in the door panelling, and in the footwalls — enhances the sense of well-being in the interior of the all-new BMW X4. The lighting mood can be adjusted as the driver pleases thanks to a choice of six colours.
The Ambient Air package now available for the all-new BMW X4 purifies the air by means of ionization, at the same time as fragrancing the interior.
There is a choice of eight scents in all and drivers are able to set three levels of intensity.
Another new option is the BMW Display Key. Fuel level, remaining range, and service information are all shown on its 2.2-inch touch display, while the key can also be used to lock the doors, close the power windows and operate the optional auxiliary heating system.
Three full-size seats are fitted in the rear compartment of the all-new BMW X4, providing the passengers there with an additional 27 millimetres of legroom over the predecessor model.
The all-new BMW X4 will be launched with a choice of latest-generation power units comprising two petrol and two diesel engines, each with four cylinders and 2.0-litre displacement. Their advanced BMW Twin Power Turbo technology promises dynamic power delivery accompanied by remarkably low fuel consumption and emission.
Rounding off the line-up are two BMW M Performance models with sixcylinder in-line engines under the bonnet, one petrol and one diesel, as well as another straight-six diesel unit. All model variants direct their engine’s power to the road via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive as standard, resulting in effortless progression over smooth roads and rough terrain alike. Gear selections can be made manually, using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The body-shell has shed 50 kg with the smart use of aluminium and steel construction. The front suspension set-up is double wishbone with anti-roll bar and the rear is a multi-link set-up.
The driving route in the US was mainly on country roads with hardly any motorway driving and we also had a session on the BMW performance centre racetrack. This gave us ample opportunity to test the handling of the new X4 M40d. The straight six M40d motor produces 326 PS and 680 Nm.
On the road in eco mode, one can cruise along all day effortlessly and if one wishes to have some fun, one should select the sport mode for a totally different car that one can throw around corners like a sports car.
On the track, my lead driver shared his name with the all-time great Formula 1 driver, the Flying Scotsman Jim Clark. After a couple of laps, we switched off the traction control and then the fun and games started. The handling of the X4 is like any BMW sedan. Even with the high ground clearance, the car holds the line through long corners and, at the same time, does not lose composure during high-speed direction change. I had a ball getting her sideways exiting corners in control.
If you are looking to buy a car with SUV-like ground clearance and, at the same time, have the handling and performance of sporty sedan, then the new BMW X4 is just the car for you.
( Right) Cabin is elegant and driverfocused; controls are within easy reach
( Aboveright) Straight six diesel is highly refined and delivers instant response