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BMW X4 Concept Debut

BMW seeks to leave no niche unfilled


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What's New

You wouldn't think this whole "Sport Activity Coupe" segment would be that hot. But it is. The year after Acura discontinues its ZDX crossover, BMW is planning to roll out its 2015 BMW X4. In the meantime, however, it's just teasing what the crossover will look like by way of the BMW X4 Concept that debuted at this year's Shanghai Motor Show.

Based on the BMW X3, the X4 is a more stylized edition of its popular crossover with less utility, and perhaps less relevance in the compact luxury crossover segment. Still, with what will likely be low development costs and high profits, BMW ought to make it, right? In between coupes, Grand Coupes, wagons, and crossovers, BMW is trying to fill all niches it can and maybe come up with some more niches that no one could possibly have expected.

Who It's For

Perhaps the BMW X3 is too useful, too pragmatic, or too feminine for your tastes, you macho man. Perhaps you need something to say to the world, "Why yes, I have a lot more money than sense!" You, good sir, are the BMW X4's target audience.

We know that Mercedes-Benz is planning an equally useless spinoff of the GLK, and Range Rover has had plenty of success selling its barely functional, but utterly cool Evoque. There are plenty of young-at-heart, supposedly hip people out there who could want this very vehicle. I mean, come on, BMW has sold enough X6s to justify a second generation of it here soon enough. Also, the Chinese market could dig this thing like lo mein noodles.

Key Features

Figure the BMW X4 will share most of its components with the X3. Still, the X4 uniquely has:
  • A unique side profile and rear with fastback look.
  • More dynamic bumper styling.
  • Revised headlights with new LED accent lighting.

What We Think

Made for a world market, the BMW X4's home will be in Spartanburg, South Carolina, built alongside the BMW X3, X5, and X6 crossovers. That's good for jobs, and it's good for America.

Otherwise, we can't help but to ask ourselves why this vehicle is what it is. Sport activity coupes are niche vehicles at best in the U.S., and they're going to stay that way. Competing against the X4 in BMW's own lineup will be the X3, 3 Series Gran Turismo, 3 Series wagon, and perhaps even the X5.

While it looks cool and it will likely sell well when the 2015 production version reaches reality alongside a refreshed X3, we can't help but think that BMW is maybe chasing too much for the almighty dollar and not enough on what's supposed to make a BMW a BMW.

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