BMW is about to launch yet another all-new model, the X4. A smaller brother to the BMW X6, it has been shown in Europe and will come to Australia in the final quarter of 2014.

Using BMW’s new naming system, which gives even numbers to sports models, and where X signifies it’s a crossover between a car and an SUV, the X4 is largely based on the underpinnings of the BMW X3.

Using the same powertrains and running gear modified to suit the lower ride height and centre of gravity in the X3, the BMW X4 is aimed at the sporting driver who may want to explore forest trails and the like.

We like the styling of the X4, even at the back where it doesn’t have the slightly odd (to our eyes) look of big brother X6. The front is big and bold and uses the new theme of joining the headlights to the grilles to visually widen the vehicle.

The slope of the roof looks as though it may challenge tall occupants, but we will have to await our first drive before we comment on this.

This new model further expands what used to be the relatively simple BMW 3 Series range: the 3 Series sedan and wagon, 4 Series coupe and soon convertible, the X3 range, the recently introduced 3 Series GT and now the X4 models. Perhaps you should set aside a full day to spend roaming your local BMW dealership just to keep up with the expansion…

Details of Australia imports of the BMW X4 are yet to be finalised but it’s a good bet ours will be offered with a large range of turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel engines, probably with a strong emphasis on the latter.

Six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions are installed, though the manual is only in a limited range of models. It seems likely Australia will only see the autos.

Sitting at the top of the tree is the high-performance BMW X4 xDrive35i (who dreamt up these overly complex names?) a model that seems to be a certainty for this sporting automotive nation.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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