The BMW X4 M will bring coupe styling and M Division performance to the SUV sector.
BMW is gearing up to follow the newly launched X3 with a refreshed version of its ‘coupe’ sibling – and now our spy photographers have captured the evidence that the German brand is working on a high-performance version of that car, the X4 M.
This will be the first X4 to get the full-house treatment from BMW’s M Division – although the car’s mechanical make-up is likely to stick closely to that of the X3 M. Under the bonnet there’s likely to be a single-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, producing anywhere between 425bhp and 445bhp. This will be transmitted to the road through all-wheel drive and a beefed-up suspension configuration, with double wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear.
The spy pics are taken during winter testing, as BMW hones the X4 M’s thermal management. As such, it’s likely that the car shown above features a production-specification design of front and rear bumpers. There are deep air intakes at the outer edge of the front bumper, while even in more extreme M spec, the rear shows a neater design than the outgoing X4’s, with a more fully integrated profile that shortens the visible rear overhang.
There’s no mistaking the quad tailpipes at the rear, though – nor the huge alloy wheels (probably 21in items) covering sizeable cross-drilled brake discs.
BMW has resisted faster versions of its smaller SUVs for some time. However, the plethora of hot small SUVs from the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz is said to have persuaded BMW that it’s an area of the market that it’s no longer able to to ignore.
There’s no on-sale date yet for the X4 M. However, we wouldn’t expect it to arrive in dealerships until the end of the year at the earliest – perhaps with a public debut in the autumn, ahead of sales starting before spring 2019. The X3 M will give us a preview of the car’s mechanical components, though, because it should arrive around six months earlier.