BMW Concept X4: BMW persists with ugly ‘coupe’ SUV concept

Unlike, say, Honda/Acura which is licking its wounds from the self inflicted failure of the ‘coupe’ SUV sector, BMW is doubling down on the idea.

Updated (April 17, 2013): 24 photos added to gallery above; dimensions and some other details now known.

The new Concept X4 is a thinly veiled precursor to the new X4, which melds the worst of parts of a high-riding SUV with a hatchback in the same road space normally occupied by the far more practical X3.

We don’t know a lot about what’s inside or underneath the Concept X4 at the moment, but as we predicted it’s based on the current generation F25 X3 (see dimensions and comparison below). The concept car rides on large 21-inch alloys.

No doubt it will feature roughly the same complement of turbocharged straight-four and straight-six petrol and diesel engines, stretching from roughly 135kW through to 230kW. Europeans will have the option of a 6-speed manual, but the rest of us will have to make do with an 8-speed auto. Expect nothing new or extraordinary from the production car’s suite of tech: iDrive, lane departure warning and the like.

Production of the real thing will reportedly begin in 2014.

Opinion: You have to hand it to BMW, if they think of a niche they keep on going at it, results be damned. Witness the new 3-Series GT and now this. To be fair, it’s not as misshapen as the 5-Series GT nor as gargantuan, yet impractical, as the X6.

In fact, there are a few nice styling elements, such as the surfacing on the car’s side, which should really be applied to the next X3. Sadly, if it wasn’t so tall and so high off the ground, it might’ve actually made for a nice 3-Series hatchback.

But the question still remains: who needs an X4? If you want a hatchback, there’s the smaller 1-Series or the upcoming coupe-like 4-Series Gran Coupe. If you want practicality there’s always the 3-Series wagon. And, of course, if you want the space and the pretense of going off road there’s always the X3.


Length: 4,648mm (-4mm compared to the BMW X3)
Width: 1,915mm (+31mm)
Height: 1,622mm (-91mm)
Wheelbase: 2,810mm (same as the X3)

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]