When Porsche finally releases its Macan model, packing a 370-hp V6 powerplant, it might not be the only compact performance SUV on the market. BMW is looking to compete head-to-head with its German automaker competitor with its own X4M model that could hit the market as soon as 2015.
Given how successful the X6M model has been – surprisingly to everyone in the world – the idea of a compact, performance SUV is garnering plenty of attention from automakers. BMW wants to match Porsche out of the gate in this new niche market by developing what will essentially be a ‘baby X6M’ model, featuring the same six-cylinder powerplant that will be found in the next-generation M3 model.
Internally, the project is being called ‘an M3 on stilts’, and the performance compact SUV will also incorporate BMW M’s Electro-mechanical steering technology, a revised M-DCT transmission, and will be packed with all of the automaker’s EfficientDynamics tech including engine stop-start, brake energy regeneration, and on-demand operation of engine ancillaries.
According to a BMW insider, the X4M will be about 1.6-inch shorter than the X6M model, with an appearance derived from the current X3 model. Of course, being an M-model means that the X4M will sport wider front and rear fenders and have an overall more aggressive appearance than its X4 counterpart.
To go along with the X4M model, BMW is also exploring the idea of offering M Performance brand variants of the X4.