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BMW X4 M40i Comes to Detroit, Feels like a Corporate Way of Having Fun

The BMW M2 isn't the only piece of fresh metal adorning the Bavarian automaker's Detroit booth. The X4 M40i also made its public debut at NAIAS, but it's difficult to treat the Sport Activity Coupe with the same level of excitement as the actual coupe occupying the BMW stand.
BMW X4 M40i 21 photos
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However, we'll start with the good side of the M Performance division's take on the X4, which, by the way, was introduced in October last year.

Overshadowing the X4 xDrive35i, the newcomer squeezes 355 hp and 343 lb-ft of twist from its turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six. The engine works with a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic, one of the best autos on the market right now.

That kind of power is good for an overly respectable 0 to 60 mph sprint of 4.7 seconds.

More importantly, BMW explains the xDrive system has been recalibrated, and now packs a rear-wheel-drive bias. Until, say, one decade ago, such updates would've seemed redundant. Oh well, in a world where the Lamborghini Huracan has to go through a somewhat similar process, you can't be amazed by this happening to a BMW crossover (coupe, whatever).

Since we're talking about an M Performance model, the sporty treatment covers the vehicle inside and out, from the standard 19-inch wheels (you can get 20-inch rims as an option) to the aggressive body kit.

Climbing aboard, we once again come across a sea of M-badged elements, with the hefty steering wheel topping the list.

Unfortunately, there's another issue with the 2016 X4 M40i and that has to do with its price. While its $57,800 base MSRP may seem fair in comparison to other BMWs, this places the vehicle in between the 340 hp Porsche Macan S and the 360 hp Porsche Macan GTS.

Sure, the X4 M40i out accelerates both incarnations of the Macan, but drive these cars and you'll understand the Porsche is in a different league, be it regarding the dynamic experience or the overall feel.

As with the Macan GTS, for that matter, we feel BMW has built the M40i version of the X4 not because this was necessary, but simply because its corporate ways dictated so.

 
 
 
 
 

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