Audi

The launch of the all-new BMW X4 was held in Kwazulu Natal at Umghlanga’s luxurious Oyster Box where Automotive Refinisher got to test the second generation X4 on the tight and twisty roads in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

At first sight the new X4 modifictaions incorporate smoother flowing lines with the rear getting most of the attention making the model more desirable in looks than it’s predecessor.

BMW has had an active 2018 expanding their X-range offering at the beginning of the year with the introduction of the new BMW X2 and new X3, which we featured in our previous magazine. Here we covered how the BMW Plant Rosslyn got a complete systems overhaul to produce the new X3 locally.  We can now expect a new X7 to complete this eXtensive range. An explanation was given at the X4 launch about this roll out, where it was mentioned that an entire third of total BMW global sales is thanks to the popularity and demand for BMW’s X-series.

Undoubtedly when you see the X4 for the first time it is the sexier X of the range, being a Sports Activity Coupé. BMW have dubbed it their ‘agile athlete’ of the range thanks to M-sports extras coming standard across the range and an increased track width at the rear axle (by 30 mm) for better stability and sportier dynamic handling.

Various engine derivatives are available at the moment. These are the xDrive 420i, 420d four-cylinder and a M40i six-cylinder M-performance version with a M40d ‘dynamic diesel’ to grace the range in early 2019.

What you can expect from the entry level 420i petrol is a 2 litre turbo engine in which will get you to 100km/h in 8.3 seconds (135kW and 290Nm). Secondly you will find the 420d 2-litre turbodiesel which will get you from 0-100km/h in 8.0 seconds flat. The brute M40i petrol does it in 4.0 seconds! Figures for the M40d diesel engine, which will be here in early January 2019, were 240kW and 680Nm, and will be capable of 0-100km/h in just under five seconds.

All X4 models get the xDrive permanent all-wheel-drive treatment as standard, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission. Variable sports steering comes standard across the range, so steering remains direct and sporty. M-performance suspension is also standard across all models, with adapative suspension as an optional extra, and adaptive M-suspension as an option on all M-models. The M-performance offering on the M40i and M40d models includes 20-inch alloy wheels, Cerium Grey exterior trim and sports seats. Also included on the optional list are a host of new multi-mode digital instrument cluster and driver assistance gadgets such as Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, the Driving Assistant Plus pack with steering assistance and Parking Assistant Plus

Inside the new X4 you will find all the latest technology and comfort of an X3 with an elegant interior design reflecting a new modern look with a slightly raised driver cockpit and more space in the rear seats. The 16.5cm infotainment display comes standard across the range with The Bussiness Navigaition and with an optional 26cm Navigation System Professional to compliment X4’s dash. Automatic tail gate opening with three-zone climate control, cruise control, brake function, ambient lighting with six colour choices and keyless engine start also comes standard across the model range.

What was interesting to note on the launch was how M-model sales are up by 25% compared to this time last year, which leads me to think that X4 is bound for good sales thanks to great looks and it’s agile atheletic nature. Personally I found the 420i a bit underpowered for it’s M-performance rating, so I would prefer the 420d or M-performance derivative in my Christmas stocking this year.

Launch prices are R843 000 for both the entry level petrol and diesel drivetrains, with the X4 M40i coming in at R1 132 800. I really do hope Santa has seen I’ve been good this year.

Story and pics by Jay Groat