With the New York Auto Show just around the corner, manufacturers are beginning to leak details of some of their new offerings. BMW will be on hand next week with not one, but two models making their global debut: the M4 Convertible, with its 425 hp twin-turbo engine, and the mid-range crossover in the form of the X4.
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The new convertible features a power improvement to the tune of 425 hp (317 kW). This small blip in power may not seem significant, until you learn that the car lost two cylinders to get it. Replacing the V8 is the job of a TwinPower straight six with a displacement of 3.0 liters. While horsepower receives only a marginal boost, torque on the other hand gets a 40 percent increase, giving the car 406 lb.ft (550 Nm) of twisting power to the rear wheels.
Managing power to the rear wheels is the responsibility of BMW’s M gearbox, a 7-speed Double clutch arrangement that helps the car make 100 km/h (62 mph) in a scant 4.2 seconds. Top speed is limited at 250 km/h (155 mph).
Stylistically the convertible shares the same aggressive demeanor as its hard-topped M4 brother. The signature power dome on the aluminum hood is there as are the large gulping openings under the kidney grille. The convertible’s scalloped side flanks are placed nicely between serious bits of rubber mounted on 18 or 19 inch wheels, which in turn are encased safely in the M’s fluid haunches. BMW is also quick to point out that carbon fiber -reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been strategically incorporated into key areas of the convertible to retain structural rigidity and lighten the vehicle’s overall weight.
The three-section folding metal roof is capable of opening or closing in 20 seconds, even when the car is moving at speeds up to 18 km/h (11 mph). Interior appointments and amenities are similar to the hardtop M4.
The BMW X4
The 2015 X4 crossover, which has the look of a shrunken X6, will also make its debut in New York next week. As BMW has gone to an even numbering system, this latest SUV from BMW features a slight redesign from its predecessor, but retains some of the design elements of its bigger brother.
Under the hood, drivers will have a few engine options to choose from. The X4 xDrive28i version features a 2.0 liter engine and BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology capable of producing 245 hp (183 kW) to the vehicle’s AWD system. Jumping up a notch to the X4 xDrive35i sees output and performance figures increase to 306 hp (228 kW) thanks to a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six cylinder engine.
According to BMW, consumers have a choice of either three gas engines or three diesel powerplants. Output for the X4’s engines ranges from 184 hp to 313 hp (137-233 kW), depending on the fuel and displacement selection. Performance figures for the 3 liter turbocharged gas version, show the X4 hitting the 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 5.5 seconds. The xDrive35d diesel option accelerates the SUV from 0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) even quicker, in just 5.2 seconds.
The X nomenclature in the BMW series means all-wheel-drive is standard equipment on the X4, as is an 8-speed autobox to help optimize long haul mileage figures. BMW claims combined mileage figures for the X4 at 8.3–5.0 l/100 km (34.0–56.5 mpg), depending on the tire choices.
An updated version of BMW’s ConnectedDrive system will also be in play in the new X4. Some of the ConnectedDrive’s offerings include; full-color Heads-Up Display, anti-dazzle High Beam Assistant, and Driving Assistant Plus with Lane Departure Warning. A pedestrian protection and a Collision Warning system applies the brakes with anything up to maximum stopping power as required. Owners of the new X4 can also sign up for BMW’s new Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) system.
Gizmag will be on the ground next week covering the New York Auto Show. Watch for updates from the show starting Wednesday.
Source: BMW GroupView gallery - 17 images