BMW reveals X4 ahead of Shanghai auto show

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

"Thinly veiled" is a term that befits BMW's new X4 Concept, a prototype that will be officially unveiled at Auto China in Shanghai later this month. The production version will likely look very similar when it goes on sale next year.

While some premium brands only offer a scant number of unique models, most fitting within already well-established market segments, BMW is breaking all the rules as it breaks completely new ground with unique models that utterly comprise entire market segments. Most recently the Munich-based automaker added the unorthodox wagon-cum-hatchback-like 3 Series Gran Turismo to a compact lineup that already includes a 3 Series Wagon, simultaneously creating a new luxury segment. This will soon be joined by a 4 Series Gran Coupe, the first four-door coupe in the premium compact arena. BMW already fills similar shoes in its midsize lineup, with the 5 Series Grand Turismo and 6 Series Gran Coupe, all of the above combining with a sedan, sports coupe and hardtop convertible in both compact and midsize measurements. And we haven't even discussed its very complete crossover lineup.

The X5, BMW's original SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle), continues on with up to seven seats, while the five-seat X3 makes up the more mainstream compact offering and smaller X1 slots in below that. The German automaker has enjoyed excellent sales within another segment it created: crossover sport coupe. All the while, rival Acura has already dropped its slow-selling ZDX, leaving the X6 as the new segment's sole entrant. BMW's X6, based on the X5 but offering a more performance-oriented variation on crossover utility, has done so well they must have asked the question, why not do the same thing in the compact sector? Enter the X4: a vehicle BMW already confirmed will debut next year. If the production version looks similar to this concept they'll likely have another oddball hit on their hands.

The X4 Concept pulls styling cues from the new 3 Series sedan and X3 up front yet combines them with an aggressive lower fascia for its own unique take on BMW design. Compared to the already attractive X6, the X4 offers even greater side sculpting around the fenders and flanks for an arguably sportier stance. The rear end design treatment is cleaner yet still just as athletic looking as the X6 thanks to long deeply canted glass and C-pillars, with taillight lenses heavily inspired by the new 4 Series Coupe (set to replace the 3 Series Coupe next year). Like the front fascia the lower rear valance is aggressively penned, boasting integrated exhaust outlets and a unique centre diffuser-like design.

As for utility, don't expect the upcoming production X4 to be as cargo friendly as the 3 Series Gran Turismo let alone a 3 Series Wagon, or for that matter an X3. This isn't its complete purpose after all. Like the X6, the X4 will compromise luggage space for steeply raked rear quarter styling, offering up more room than the similarly sized 4 Series Coupe or upcoming 4 Series Gran Coupe, but nowhere near as much cargo capability as the X3 it will be based on.

When the new X4 hits the road next year it will have been produced at BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina assembly plant. Ahead of that we can expect the production version to debut at one of the major auto shows, along with more details.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, BMW, X4 Concept, Compact,

Organizations: BMW

Geographic location: Shanghai

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page