Automotive

BMW focuses on the "S" in SUV with new M40i

The M40i's engine features some components from the M4's motor
The M40i's engine features some components from the M4's motor
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The M40i gets Audi-esque chrome wing mirrors
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The M40i gets Audi-esque chrome wing mirrors
The M40i isn't all that different to lesser X4s on the outside
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The M40i isn't all that different to lesser X4s on the outside
Sloping roofline aside, the X4 is reasonably practical
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Sloping roofline aside, the X4 is reasonably practical
The X4 is based on the X3's platform, but rear passengers have less headroom
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The X4 is based on the X3's platform, but rear passengers have less headroom
An M Sport steering wheel is one of the differences between the M40i and regular X4s
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An M Sport steering wheel is one of the differences between the M40i and regular X4s
The X4's interior is largely unchanged over slower variants'
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The X4's interior is largely unchanged over slower variants'
A wide range of options are available inside, including contrast stitching
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A wide range of options are available inside, including contrast stitching
Dual exhaust are one of the giveaways that isn't your average X4
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Dual exhaust are one of the giveaways that isn't your average X4
BMW's kidney grille is still the defining feature up front
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BMW's kidney grille is still the defining feature up front
Bigger front brakes are in keeping with the car's greater performance focus
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Bigger front brakes are in keeping with the car's greater performance focus
It might be off road here, but hardly any X4 M40's will ever leave the blacktop
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It might be off road here, but hardly any X4 M40's will ever leave the blacktop
The car's coupe profile follows the path set by the BMW X6
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The car's coupe profile follows the path set by the BMW X6
The M40i will hit 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds
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The M40i will hit 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds
20-inch wheels are one of the special styling touches on the M40i
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20-inch wheels are one of the special styling touches on the M40i
The M40i's engine features some components from the M4's motor
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The M40i's engine features some components from the M4's motor
The rear diffuser is for show - BMW doesn't mention any increase in downforce. Then again, this is an SUV - why would you need extra downforce?
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The rear diffuser is for show - BMW doesn't mention any increase in downforce. Then again, this is an SUV - why would you need extra downforce?
Those big air intakes feed cool air to the twin-turbo inline six lurking under the bonnet
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Those big air intakes feed cool air to the twin-turbo inline six lurking under the bonnet
Thanks to stiffer springs and a reworked xDrive system, the M40i should be a sharp handler in the twisties
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Thanks to stiffer springs and a reworked xDrive system, the M40i should be a sharp handler in the twisties
BMW hasn't mentioned the price for the M40i
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BMW hasn't mentioned the price for the M40i
The M40i is quicker than an Audi SQ5 in the 0-100 km/h sprint
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The M40i is quicker than an Audi SQ5 in the 0-100 km/h sprint
Despite weighing almost 2000 kg, the M40i is faster than most hot hatches
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Despite weighing almost 2000 kg, the M40i is faster than most hot hatches
It's quick, but the M40i uses just 8.6 l/100km
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It's quick, but the M40i uses just 8.6 l/100km
The new BMW X4 M40i
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The new BMW X4 M40i

For a long time now, BMW has hung its hat on the fact its cars are the Ultimate Driving Machines. All of its vehicles – including the big SUVs and front-drive minivans – are billed sharp handling sports cars. That same mentality is writ large in the new X4 M40i, a "sporty" SUV with big wheels, uprated brakes and stiff suspension ... oh, and it will also hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5 seconds.

The key plank in BMW's new M40i package is the 3-liter twin-turbo inline six hiding beneath the bonnet. With 265 kW (360 hp) available between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm and 465 Nm of torque available between 1,350 and 5,250 rpm, the M40i is good for a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint of 4.9 seconds.

Thanks to stiffer springs and a reworked xDrive system, the M40i should be a sharp handler in the twisties
Thanks to stiffer springs and a reworked xDrive system, the M40i should be a sharp handler in the twisties

The "M" badge on the back of the X4 isn't just there for show: as well as bumping up the turbo pressure, the 3.0-liter motor in the M40i has new crankshaft bearings, spark plugs and piston top-rings from the M3/M4's engine inside.

That means the M40i, which weighs 1915 kg (4222 lb), will do the 100 km/h sprint as fast as Audi's S3 or BMW's own M135i, on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

In spite of all this power BMW's range topping X4 is still reasonably economical, although 8.6 l/100 km (32.8 mpg) is still significantly more than the 6.8 l/100km (41.5 mpg) Audi's performance-focused diesel SQ5 can manage.

An M Sport steering wheel is one of the differences between the M40i and regular X4s
An M Sport steering wheel is one of the differences between the M40i and regular X4s

As a company best-known for sharp, rear-drive handling, BMW has gone to great lengths to make the X4's all-wheel drive system doesn't turn it into an understeering pig. Up to 100 percent of the engine's torque can be channeled to either of the back wheels, and the car defaults to a rear-bias in regular driving.

Backing up the rear-biased xDrive system are a number of other handling upgrades including bigger front brakes, optional Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and stiffer springs. The camber on the front axle has also been cranked up for to help make the steering sharper.

Inside, changes to the basic X4's interior are limited, though M40i owners do get special door sills and a new M Sport steering wheel to set the car apart. It's a similar story on the outside, with twin exhaust pipes and bigger, polished wheels providing the main giveaways to the M40i's potential.

Source: BMW

3 comments
Martin Leitner
4.9sec for 0-100? The Tesla Model X does this in 3.2 sec - ZERO EMISSION! This new BMW is another waste of development costs. When will those die-hards finally wake up?
Bill Bennett
I see it got BEAT by the ugly stick front and rear and then dragged the body side panels against the ugly posts.
warren52nz
I was about to say the same thing as Martin Leitner said. And the Tesla is a 7 seater and uses NO gasoline or diesel.
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