BMW (BAMXF) has lately released the 2015 BMW X4 that has drawn several headlines. The new launch of the sports activity coupe indicates the German carmaker’s ardent desire to widen its market and get a stronger grip of the luxury car market. The sports car is slated to hit the road this July.
The BMW X4 applies the same template X3 SUV, as the X6 does to the X5. Although the underpinnings are all familiar to X3, the X4 is 14mm longer and 36mm lower, which combines with that daringly drooping roofline to give the X4 a more rakish head turning proportions. Inside, an unadventurous but an undeniably well-finished BMW cabin features front seats mounted 20mm lower than those in an X3, aimed at creating a sportier driving environment.
The rear seats are 28mm lower so that three passengers at a squeeze can just about stoop under the lower ceiling. The X4’s driving position has plenty of adjustment and feels immediately familiar, but it is a pity that the rest of the cabin architecture does not feature any of the avant-garde cockpit design like those that adorn the i3 and i8 plug in cars.
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Apart from a small headroom hit and poor visibility, the other sacrifices that the X4 ownership demands are a 3,600 pounds premium over the roomier X3 and a 50 liter reduction in the boot space to 500 liters, with the seats down there’s 200 liters less at 1.400 liters. The cargo bay is not only smaller but less conveniently shaped as well due to the steeply raked rear window cutting straight across the boot.
There are two trim lines the luxury oriented xLine and the M sport package. The main difference between them are decorative, each using alternative wood and metal decors, but the M sport package also includes sports seats, an aerodynamic body kit, an M steering wheel and a black headliner, which is why it’s more expensive.
The X4 has loads of grip and simply stunning traction, although the steering is lacking feel and communication. It’s sensibly weighted in its various modes and accurate enough to place this tall bluff machine with absolute confidence. Body roll is remarkably well checked, and only when you lean on the optional 20inch rim of the M sport test car will the cars 1815kg weight catch up with it, forcing it to understeer. One reason for the concern is the brakes, which get wilted only after a short period of spirited use and triggered early and confidence spaping ABS intervention. BMW argues that for better performance there will be an option of upgraded M performance brakes on X4’s huge option list.
Clash of the Titans
While BMW is launching the X4, Volkswagen (VLKAY)'s luxury brand Audi will launch its new car R8 in 2015. R8 has a more or less similar structure and is easily recognized. The car gets a revised front end with a new grille, bumper, large air intakes, and more angular head lamps.
The rear of the car houses narrow tail lamps above the air vent and centrally located quad tail pipes flanked by sporty diffusers. It will have a seven speed dual gear box and a Quattro all wheel drive system. The base price for the BMW X4 is $45,625 and for Audi R8 will be $125,000. The prices are way different from each other, which clearly suggest that the two cars wouldn’t be directly competing with each other. But it showcases Audi’s interest to expand its offerings as well. The luxury market is growing, and with the rebound in the U.S. economy and early signs of recovery in the Europe, carmakers could get a real boost.
BMW X4 is a sporty compact designed SUV based on the X3 model. The X4 doesn’t have that awkward look that the X6 had when compared to an X5, and is definitely sportier than the X3 with its aggressive stance. The X3 is too big and boring while the X1 is too small, so to fit the niche X4 is a perfect deal.