Like it or lump it, crossovers sell. Performance crossovers also sell, which has led BMW to release the latest variant of its sporty X4, in M40i trim.
As the name suggests, the new car follows a similar path to that of the M135i – while not a full-fat M Performance model, BMW M GmbH is still responsible for development, elevating the car above humbler models and those simply wearing M Performance parts.
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At the M40i’s heart is a 3.0-litre TwinPower Turbo inline-six from the xDrive35i (a model not sold in the UK), but a forged steel crankshaft, new piston rings, improved crankshaft bearings and high-power spark plugs from the M3 and M4 – and increased boost for the turbocharger – enhance performance.
Maximum power is now 355bhp between 5800-6000rpm, with 343lb ft from 1350-5250rpm. Those are improvements of 55bhp and 43lb ft over the standard 35i, resulting in a 4.9 second 0-62mph sprint and 155mph limited top speed. BMW quotes fuel economy of 32.8mpg and CO2 of 199g/km.
Those in turn are aided by a standard eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and launch control, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to bump up the interaction. Naturally, all-wheel drive is standard too, with Performance Control to distribute torque between the rear wheels.
Exterior styling features the usual M Performance cues. X4 M40is ride on 8.5x19 front wheels and 9.5x19in rear wheels, wrapped in Michelin Primacy runflat tyres of 245/44 width and profile at the front and 275/45 at the rear.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres are also available, providing the buyer selects the optional two-tone, 20-inch double-spoke alloy wheels. Larger brakes are standard regardless of wheel choice.
A new body styling package adorns the M40i, with grey-painted door mirrors and kidney grille elements, as well as the intakes in the new front apron. A pair of chrome black tailpipes defines the rear end. An exclusive colour – Long Beach Blue metallic – also joins the M40i options list.
Inside, the M-goodies continue, with X4 M40i lettering on the door sills, an M leather steering wheel and M logo on the gear selector. Equipment levels are predictably high, with various fabric and leather upholstery options, navigation, and safety features like active cruise control and city braking.
Pricing and release date details are yet to be confirmed.