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With the official reveal its new X4 Concept, BMW is previewing of a more affordable version of the X6.
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.
After the sucess of BMW‘s X6, the Bavarian auto maker is set to unveil an X4 concept sometime in 2011, to test consumer reaction to the smaller coupe/SUV. A vague sketch of the X4 has been released and it looks like a cross between the 5 Series GT and the X6.
The X6 has already sold 100,000 units, so BMW is understandably eager to cash in on the enthusiasm for low-roofline SUVs. We could do without another one, but 100,000 people seem to disagree.
BMW is currently considering bringing to market two higher-performance versions of the X3 crossover, if the newly released second-generation model is successful. News comes via BMW insider SCOTT26 posting on yet another BMW forum.
Currently the most powerful X3 in BMW’s lineup is the rather potent x3 xDrive35i, using the single-turbo inline-six motor to make 300-hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque and deliver an incredibly fast 0-60 mph time of just 5.5 seconds. That time would likely drop by a tenth or two with a xDrive35is model, which would take after the Z4 sDrive35is and 335is models to deliver a bump to around 320-hp and 332 ft-lbs, with limited overboost delivering closer to 370 ft-lbs.
Then, if that model proved a success, BMW would then consider an X3 M. This model would reportedly be powered by a version of the motor that will be found in the upcoming 1 Series M Coupe.
But don’t get too excited yet, as the product planning folks haven’t made any decisions and will have to wait at least a year or two to see how the second-gen X3 is received.
In addition to these models, SCOTT26 insists the X4 is still under consideration, which would deliver an X6-inspired coupe-like model, derived from the new X3.
BMW‘s lineup of X-badged crossovers and SUVs may soon include one more model, as company execs are reported to be considering building the X4. As AutoCar confirms, BMW won’t deny plans for an X4, which now seems all the more likely after seeing the more conservative direction BMW has taken with the second-generation X3.
The X4 isn’t as much of a long-shot as it once was either, due to the success of the X6. Initially BMW planned to sell just 20,000 X6 models globally, but since it’s launch in late 2008, a total of 80,000 units have been produced – and that number could rise to 100,000 by the end of the year.
As for the vehicle itself, it would likely be based on the X3 platform, making it less expensive to produce. And as for an engine, it could be offered with a high-performance 350-hp version of the company’s turbocharged inline-six – similar to what is expected in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe.
After discussions with BMW execs, the folks at AutoCar got the distinct impression that they were looking for feedback on the idea, from journalists and consumers. So share your opinion after the jump. Should BMW build the X4 and would you buy it?
Proving that you can never have enough niche vehicles, BMW is reportedly considering production for a possible X4 after the X6 SUV/Coupe sold 80,000 units worldwide last year, beating expectations by 100 percent.
Now, BMW is looking into the prospect of building something smaller, but with the same profile and styling cues as the X6. Reports suggest that the new car would be spun off the upcoming BMW X3 platform, and resemble the rakish X6, albeit with smaller proportions. BMW already has an upcoming X1, the X3, X5 and X6. No details about engines or transmissions has been announced, but expect some kind of Inline 6, more likely than not with a turbocharger.