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BMW launches X4 M40i SUV. Image by BMW.

BMW launches X4 M40i SUV
New range-topping BMW X4 is named M40i - the latest M Performance Vehicle.
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What's this all about then?

It's the launch of the new BMW X4 M40i, a high-performance SUV from the 'M Performance Vehicle' stable that appears to have what it takes to challenge the likes of the Porsche Macan S.

Remind me what an 'M Performance Vehicle' is.

It's one that sits between the M Sport trim level and a full-on M car, so it's distinctly sportier than any non-M car in the line-up and comes with one technical specification, but it's not quite as hardcore as the proper M models. Other examples include the BMW M235i and X6 M50d.

Gotcha, now, what's under the bonnet?

The X4 M40i's 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine is based on the turbocharged unit found in the previous range-topper, the xDrive35i version, but it has received plenty of upgrades, including a few bits and pieces from the M3/M4's engine. The net result is 360hp and 465Nm of torque (increases of 54hp and 65Nm respectively) and more suitability to sustained hard driving thanks in part to a separate oil cooler and a stiffer cylinder block. The only transmission is BMW's excellent eight-speed automatic and though xDrive four-wheel drive is standard we're assured that it has been developed in the M40i's case to give a distinctly rear-drive feeling.

Presumably it's no slouch?

That's right. BMW quotes a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 155mph as ever. Not that you probably care, but it also returns 32.8mpg on the combined cycle and emits 199g/km.

Any chassis tweaks?

Yes, the M40i gains stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars, along with more camber on the front wheels. On top of all that there's an adaptive damping system as standard, plus the option of 20-inch alloy wheels.

Those in the pictures?

Correct. Their colour is described as Ferric Grey and it's also used to differentiate the M40i from regular M Sport versions of the X4 with flashes of it in the front grilles and lower air intakes, plus on the door mirrors. It's a subtle makeover, with the only notable visual difference at the back being the addition of an extra exhaust outlet. Within that, however, there's a map-controlled bypass valve, so it should sound the part.

So how much does all this range topperdom cost?

Actually, there's a little bit of bad news for those of you that fancy a right-hand drive X4 M40i, as BMW GB has no plans to offer it for sale. Indeed, there are no petrol versions of the BMW X4 sold in the UK. The most expensive variant is the xDrive35d M Sport, at 50,490.

Shane O' Donoghue - 30 Sep 2015

Earlier articles featuring 2015 BMW X4

2015-07-14: Driven: BMW X4 xDrive20d M Sport

2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.

2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.2015 BMW X4 M40i. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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