BMW X4 to debut at 2013 Detroit Auto Show
The Porsche Macan fighter, based on the X3, is poised to pounce.
BMW is set to preview its upcoming X4 SUV for the first time at the Detroit Auto Show in early January.
Confirmed by BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer earlier this year, the ute is set to debut as a near-production concept that will rival the appearance, dimensions and packaging of the Porsche Macan due to go on sale in North America in early 2014, according to highly placed BMW officials.
Although the all-wheel-drive X4 is set to share its monocoque steel platform, engines and underpinnings with the second-generation X3, it's earmarked to receive individual styling in a move intended to convey more sporting image and enable BMW to position it higher in its lineup for added profitability. Expect prices to start at around $42,000.
A series of design proposals made official by BMW in 2010 suggest the X4 will differ visually from the X3 in much the same way the larger X6 is distinguished from the X5, with a bullish front end, plunging coupé-style roofline, four conventional front-hinged doors and a heavily angled one-piece tailgate.
The German carmaker is yet to announce what engine options it plans to offer with the X4. Autoweek understands it will receive a combination of four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel units in line with those already used by the X3.
Most intriguingly, the SUV get a range-topping performance model from BMW's M division. Nothing is official just yet, but the X4 M due out toward the end of 2014 is planned to run a uniquely tuned version of the twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder gasoline engine set to appear in the upcoming sixth-generation M3.
Also planned is a hot X4 M diesel (not likely for North America) running a detuned version BMW's tri-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine launched in the X5 and X6 M. It will form part of a fast expanding range of BMW M Performance models.
Production of the X4 will take place alongside the second-generation X3 at BMW's sprawling Spartanburg, S.C., manufacturing facility. Officials from the company's headquarters in Munich, Germany, have already confirmed an extensive expansion plan for the site, which also produces the X5 and X6.
-- Greg Kable
Content provided by Autoweek.
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