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- I've had a 330D and loved the pace of that car/engine. The bad... I cannot learn to like the looks of this car. The concept of a coupe SUV.... it is I've had a 330D and loved the pace of that car/engine. The bad... I cannot learn to like the looks of this car. The concept of a coupe SUV.... it is something that should not have been created. One extension of a model range too far. Just make the X3 look better. The Macan looks better or the Jaguar F-Pace. And why review a car that cannot be bought in the UK? More ...
- Post is under moderationUnobtainiu-M It’s not UK-bound but the X4 M40i is still pretty appealing. British buyers can’t get their hands on the new X4 M40i, but should they be disappointed? Words: Shane O’ Donoghue. Photography: BMW.
Nearly two years ago we brought you the first drive of the new X4 ‘SAV’ and the first variant to be tested was the xDrive35i M Sport model. Did we come away suggesting it needed more power? Did we think its cornering ability needed more work? No, no we did not. It was found to be unflappable in the corners (if a little immobile and lacking in adjustment) and faster than any SUV needed to be.
In fact, we pretty much dismissed that model as an irrelevance for the UK market, as there are no petrolfuelled examples officially sold here at all. And yet, BMW has gone and developed a faster and more driver-focused variant anyway, called the X4 M40i.
For those in the know, the badging reveals that this car has been developed under the watchful eye of BMW M GmbH, though it’s one of those M Performance Vehicles rather than a full-on M car so we should expect it to sit between the M Sport versions and the M models in terms of approach and hardcore-ness. Nonetheless, the specification makes for interesting reading. For starters, the M40i essentially uses the same single-turbo 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine as the new BMW M2, complete with M3/M4 components such as the pistons and crankshaft bearings and an extra oil cooler. Power output is down a tad on the M2’s, at 360hp, but it’s produced lower down the rev range and it’s backed up by the same 343lb ft of torque, on tap between 1350-5250rpm, again at lower engine speeds. Though there’s no mention of an automatic overboost facility here. BMW says it took the X4 xDrive35i’s engine as this car’s basis and retuned the intake manifold, upped boost pressure and increased maximum fuel flow to allow the higher outputs. It seems a lot of work was done on the exhaust, too.
The whole system is new, with ‘optimised’ back pressure and a map-controlled electronic valve to alter the sound. It genuinely sounds ace, though those outside the car are treated to the best of it. Still, in the Sport modes there are plenty of characteristic pops and bangs on the overrun to keep the kid in us all entertained.
Unsurprisingly, the only gearbox option here is of the automatic variety. It’s the excellent eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission we know and love, with gear change paddles behind the steering wheel. It has been reprogrammed to suit something with the letter ‘M’ on its rear end, but it still manages to be civilised and smooth when you need it to be. At the other end of the spectrum, it lets its greasy hair down with a launch control function and a manual mode in which the gearbox won’t automatically change up for you, even if you make full use of the rev limiter. Even when in auto mode and the Sport+ setting has been selected the changes are faster than usual and it’s more keen to change down when you’re decelerating hard. You’ve got to admire this level of detail and commitment to driving enjoyment, even in a big and heavy SUV like the X4.
Power goes to all four wheels, of course, through the standard xDrive system but with more of an emphasis on the rear axle and, thanks to BMW’s ‘Performance Control’ function in the rear differential, the split between the rear wheels is also variable according to conditions. Pushing the X4 hard through a wicked series of switchbacks reveals that it does indeed feel more rear-drive than any other model in the line-up, which makes it feel far more agile and wieldy. The Dynamic Stability Control system (DSC) can be switched off (in the dry) without fear or repercussion as there’s so much grip on offer. This is the first X4 we’ve driven that can be adjusted precisely on the throttle. It’s good fun and immensely capable, though the suspension seems to struggle with the weight of the wheels at times when the going gets bumpy, regardless of the driving mode you select, resulting in an off-putting bouncing sensation.
In fairness, the test cars were fitted with the optional 20-inch alloy wheels and lower profile tyres, so the standard 19-inch items might be better. BMW has done a considerable amount of work to the chassis of the X4 to turn it into the M40i, including increased camber and stronger wishbones up front (apparently to the benefit of steering feel), along with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars all-round. The X4 M40i also comes as standard with an electronically controlled damper system, tied in with the usual Driving Experience Control options, plus variable sports steering that alters the ratio to make the car feel more agile the more you turn the steering wheel without adding twitchiness at higher speeds in a straight line. The best thing we can say about the latter system in the X4 is that you don’t really notice it at work – the M40i just feels more nimble than any other version.
It’s no slouch either. #BMW quotes 4.9 seconds for the 0-62mph sprint, which should be possible almost regardless of conditions thanks to the #xDrive fourwheel drive traction and launch control. However, the X4 impresses more for its mid-range punch, making it all but unnecessary to furiously tap up and down through the transmission with the paddles, regardless of how twisty the road is. The gear change paddles are not the same as those found in ‘proper’ M cars, unfortunately, though the three-spoke leather steering wheel isn’t very different and, mercifully, BMW still resists market pressures to fit flat-bottomed wheels to its sporty cars as many rival marques do.
Elsewhere in the cabin, the M40i is differentiated from regular M Sport versions of the X4 by additional ‘M ‘and ‘X4 M40i’ logos, on the instruments, on the silver door sills and on the gear lever. It remains a high quality and spacious cabin and there’s a lot of equipment as standard, including dual-zone climate control, sat nav, Park Distance Control and leather upholstered sports seats up front. The rear seats accommodate three, though the middle seat occupant has to put up with the high transmission tunnel, as before. The seat back splits and folds, expanding the 500-litre boot to an Ikea-pleasing 1400 litres of volume.
From the outside, it’s not that easy to spot the M40i. As ever, Ferric grey is the accent colour of choice of the M Performance Vehicle division, and it adorns the door mirrors, vertical elements of the kidney grille and the outer edges of the deep front bumper. It needs the optional 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels to look its best, though there’s still too much air between the tyres and the body for our liking. At the rear, there’s a ‘Chrome Black’ finished exhaust outlet on either side of the bumper and a prominent ‘X4 M40i’ badge on the hatch.
But you won’t be seeing any of those on UK roads any time soon, as BMW UK has no intention at this time to offer the M40i for sale in right-hand drive. Will it be missed? Maybe by a handful of buyers that like the idea of an indecently fast SUV with engaging road manners and a little rarity on its side but who are not worried about the running costs. After all, this X4 officially returns 32.8mpg on the combined cycle, so it’ll do well to hit mid-twenties at a cruise. Porsche seems to have found plenty of homes for its Macan, though, and although most of those have diesel engines there are still a few high-performance petrol options in the line-up.
And really, in spite of the more engaging dynamics and evocative engine note of the M40i, there’s plenty of talent in the diesel-engined X4 range. The xDrive30d, with its 258hp six-cylinder diesel engine, is probably the best all-rounder in the line-up and decent value in xLine specification at £45,510, but we reckon that the range-topper, the xDrive35d M Sport, is a good foil for the M40i. It’s not that far down on power (313hp vs 360hp) but it eclipses the petrol car’s 343lb ft of torque with a peak figure of 465lb ft so it’ll be quicker in most real-world scenarios – if not for the benchmark 0-60 and top speed. On top of that, it returns 47.1mpg and emits just 157g/km. Best of all, it’s available to buy right now.
The X4 impresses more for its mid-range punch.
TECHNICAL DATA #2016 / #BMW-F26 / #BMW-X4-M40i / #BMW-X4-M40i-F26 / #BMW-X4-F26 / #BMW-X4 / #BMW /
ENGINE: Straight-six, #TwinPower turbo, 24-valve
MAX POWER: 360hp @ 5800-6000rpm
MAX TORQUE: 343lb ft @ 1350-5250rpm
TOP SPEED: 155mph
0-62MPH: 4.9 seconds
PRICE (OTR): Not on sale in UK
In the Sport modes there are plenty of pops and bangs on the overrun to keep the kid in us all entertainedStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBMW has added to its range of #M-Performance vehicles with the announcement of the latest hot Sports Activity Coupé, the new X4 M40i. #BMW-X4-M40i / #BMW-X4 / #BMW / #2015 / #BMW-F26 / #BMW-X4-M40i-F26 / #BMW-X4-F26 / #N55B30T0 / #N55B30 / #N55 /
BMW has revealed the details on its range-topping M Performance X4, the M40i, and it looks like it will be a blistering performer. Under its bonnet will be a new version of the turbocharged 2979cc straight-six that’s seen service in a large number of BMWs and it’s perhaps interesting to note that this is the older engine, not the new Baukasten modular unit that’s just been released in the new 340i. #BMW says that there is some shared componentry between the engine in the M40i and the S55 in the M3 and M4 so that would probably account for why the new modular unit hasn’t been used.
The BMW X4 M40i does have a set of impressive vital statistics; 360hp at 5800-6000rpm, 343lb ft of torque from 1350 to 5250rpm, a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. Despite these impressive figures it’ll return a claimed 32.8mpg and emits 199g/km of CO2. The TwinPower turbo ‘six is mated to a standard fit eightspeed Steptronic ‘box that we’re familiar with from the rest of the range but it’s been specially tuned for this M Performance model and will also feature shift paddles and launch control. To ensure it sounds as good as it performs BMW has also equipped the M40i with an M Performance tuned exhaust that also features intelligent valve control so it’s quiet on a cruise but more vocal when being extended.
While the chassis in the X4 is an excellent basis it’s needed a little fine-honing for this M Performance machine and as a result BMW has fitted stronger springs and anti-roll bars, increased the camber on the front axle and added the adaptive dampers that have been specifically tuned to M Performance spec. It also features xDrive with a rear wheel-drive bias and Performance Control and the brakes have been uprated to cope with the additional performance.
Externally it features the same M aero kit as the regular M Sport model but the M40i has a couple of ferric grey inserts in the front bumper and mirror caps in the same colour while at the rear the X4 M40i has a twin exit exhaust with one pipe on either side of the car rather than two pipes exiting the rear on the left hand side à la xDrive35i. Standard wheels for the car will be 19-inch light alloy items – eight and a half inches wide at the front and nine and a half at the rear, but the car seen in the pictures features the optional 20-inch items that will be unique to the model.
Inside it’s pretty much as per the M Sport model although there’s an M leather steering wheel, an M gear shift lever, sport seats and model-specific door sills kick plates. Currently BMW UK has no plans to list the X4 40i in the UK.
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- Post is under moderationCar #BMW-X4-xDrive20i #F26 GIANT ROAD TEST #2015
Missing a Trick? We might not be getting the #X4 20i over here but we still took the chance to try one out abroad. In the UK you can’t order a petrol X4 so we travel to Norway to put an #xDrive20i through its paces to find out whether we’re missing out. Words & photography: Steve Hall.
Marbella, California, South Africa. Just three of the places manufacturers are sometimes keen to send us lucky magazine types in search of winter sunshine to show off the best of their latest wares, and perhaps hope the natural mood enhancing effect of 20°C temperatures will pervade the verdict of whatever new metal we’re trying out.
So what chance this #BMW-X4 , tried out here for the first time in 2.0i guise, married to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and laden with an extensive checklist of equipment? Given that the temperatures are hovering just below zero at our pickup point at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, and the prospect of snow packed roads and -9°C lies ahead, you might suspect the verdict would be a foregone conclusion. As it happens, a Norwegian winter proves the perfect place to test the X4’s mettle in an environment more extreme than anything we’re likely to encounter on our island, and if nothing else will give a de facto impression of how your X4 might cope with the seemingly obligatory sojourn to Alpine ski slopes.
We were off on our own little snow and ice based adventure (see page 24 for more), and our friends at BMW Norway had kindly arranged to tie this in with a chance to sample the X4 in full winter mode, with aggressively ridged #Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tyres making the best of the xDrive system’s ability to find purchase. Base camp is the town of Gol, three hours north west of Oslo on a route which will test motorway comfort and B road abilities, before we push on past Gol to Lake Tisleifjorden for a preview of the events #BMW Norway has in store for us. This will mean a good 20km on a surface which is white as far as the eye can see…
We get off to a good start. Our X4 #BMW-F26 is fitted with a nicely optioned interior which raises the feel-good factor the moment you climb in – brown leather seats are matched by similarly coloured inserts throughout the cabin, just enough to give a semi bespoke feel. As with any #X4-F26 , it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, and I’m glad for the powerful seat heaters doing their bit to fend off the sub zero ambient. The 2.0i petrol engine fires up to a near silent idle and we quietly drift out onto the motorway heading north.
It doesn’t take long to realise that the Twin Power petrol engine is better suited to something lighter and more compact. A 320i or 120i are happy with this engine under the bonnet, but the X4’s extra 150kg over an xDrive 3 Series seems to ask too much of the torque curve; consequently a hefty right foot and plenty of revs are required to get the X4 up to speed. This, in turn, delivers a double negative in that the previously refined and quiet motivations of the engine are replaced with a less than pleasing drone emanating through the bulkhead. Actual performance levels are fine, but it all feels strained; even the usually butter smooth eight-speed auto slurs shifts in a slow, deliberate fashion that encourages you to relax the pace. Economy takes a hit too – despite the majority of our time being spent cruising at 60mph, we barely broke the 30mpg barrier overall. Unless emissions or local policies dictate, we’d recommend the torque laden 2.0d over the 2.0i every time, and live with the slight increase in audible machinations up front.
To be fair, the majority of our trip is relaxing – the Business Nav guides us via the HUD, whilst the radar cruise control manipulates our speed; only the odd overtake prompts the worst of the engine’s abilities. One thing Norwegian roads do uncover is the inadequacy of the auto wipers – months of snow, salt and grime combine to create a sludgy mess on most surfaces that the auto wipers don’t register, so it’d be useful to have an intermittent setting to fall back on. Soon, we reach the snow-covered roads where our winter tyres go from nice-to-have to necessary. On normal roads, the winters contribute to a welcome improvement in ride quality, the extra sidewall and softness of compound making for a loping pliancy alien to the usually optioned 19-inch wheels with sporting rubber. When the surface turns white, grip levels are impressive. You have to be circumspect and it’s best only to ask the tyres to do one thing at a time – brake in a straight line, turn in, then let #xDrive shuffle power around as you scurry off down the next straight. Mashing the brake gives an impressive demonstration of the retardation available – you can almost feel the tyres clawing into the surface.
We’re lucky enough to get a few laps of an ice track with our X4, and whilst it’s as far removed from normal use as you could imagine, it gives an exaggerated look at the dynamics in extremis… and of course, it’s fun. With stability systems off, there’s turn in oversteer followed by power understeer if you’re heavy with the throttle – wait for the corner to open up, then you can gently add power and feel xDrive shuffling torque rearwards for an amusingly sideways exit. Braking on pure ice is precarious, so we deliberately brake on the snow covered sections, where the X4 again delivers amazing retardation.
Frankly, the combined abilities of xDrive, winter tyres and the stability systems are well beyond that which most owners would ever expect, or need. It’s easy to see why BMW built its own winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden – once your systems perform well in a Scandinavian winter, you can be sure they will be absolutely fine in the rest of the world. Our test pointed a magnifying glass at the X4, and it impressed with its unruffled all surface composure in the harshest of environments.
Car BMW X4 F26 xDrive 20i
ENGINE: Four-cylinder, petrol, turbo
MAX POWER: 184hp @ 500-6250rpm
MAX TORQUE: 199lb ft @ 1250-4500rpm
TOP SPEED: 132mph
0-62MPH: 8.1 seconds
WEIGHT (EU): 1810kg
PRICE: Not on sale in UK and USA
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