BMW Concept X4 reveals shape of things to come
April 6, 2013
Back in the year 2008, BMW introduced a rather radical SUV in the form of the swept-back X6. An instant hit with the media and autophiles alike the X6 was at the time a welcome departure from the atypical SUV box design. And so it would be that after five years the maker of Bavarian goods would bring us son of X6 – the X4 Concept.
BMW loves tags, and so it was with the SAC and SAV acronyms that we were forced to learn more jargonistic terminology. As acronyms go, SAC stands for Sports Activity Coupe, and SAV translating into Sports Activity Vehicle (seriously?), which in turn makes the X4 a SACSAV? In any case, its BMW’s nomenclature to do with as it pleases, the rest of us are just here to adhere to the guidelines.
What BMW refers to as part of its X series, the new X4 is concept only at this stage but is meant to send a message of designy things to come. How this translates into future design is peculiar as the X4 clearly takes its design cues from the X6, although the styling here is more inline with BMW’s recent coupe series than previous iterations.
BMW loves to use the term "dynamism" throughout its marketing programs. Normally we swallow the language as a linguistic sleight-of-hand, but in this case I think we can accept the new, tighter form of the X4 as living in the realm of this dynamism they speaketh of.
Proportionally, the X4 is only 183 inches long (4,648 mm) and 75.4 inches (1,915 mm) wide with a short wheelbase of 110.6 inches (2,810 mm). This combined with a height of only 63.9 inches (1,622 mm) makes the concept significantly smaller than the X6. Should we use the term “sporty dynamism” or would that be too much? Stubby overhangs, fore and aft, add to the concept’s sporty mandate while a rakish rear roofline gives it taughtness in the hindquarters while 21-inch alloys fill the wheel-wells.
Up front, an aggressive intake treatment has been handed to the X4. Similar in treatment to a Porsche Cayenne, the concept’s side air-intakes are purposely large respective to the rest of the grille work to impress the cars performance attributes and cooling needs.
Out on the sides, there are these design aspects referred to by BMW as “swage lines”. These swage lines are in fact BMW design terminology for the two sculpturized check lines that sweep back from the forward wheel arches and again over the rear haunches. BMW suggests these lines add dynamic tension and dramatic flair to the X4 on profile. From an aesthetic perspective, and given the right photographic lighting, these swage lines do look to bring visual energy and movement to the design.
As the X4 is concept only at this time, no performance, engine or other engineering facts are available. One would assume the X4 will receive various underpinnings and performance attributes from its X family members should it go into production.