“2016 BMW X4 M40i SAV”
4 Series Gains a Top Premium SAV Model
When the BMW X6 first came out, the necessity of such a vehicle was questioned by many, and then, when the M version of the X6 bowed, that move was really questioned. The introduction of the BMW X4 M40i raised some eyebrows as well. Who really needs an M version of the X4? And for that matter, who really needs an X4. Well, my friends, in the automotive realm, need isn’t always the operative word – want or desire more often becomes the deciding factor of a vehicle’s sales success. The X6M became a big success, and it’s likely that the BMW X4 M40i will do the same.
The new 2016 BMW X4 M40i is now the top model in the popular X4 Series, setting a new benchmark in the middle class of the Sports Activity Coupe segment.
The X4 M40i will get its power from a newly developed 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve inline 6-cylinder M Performance TwinPower Turbocharged engine with High Precision Direct Injection System, Valvetronic and Double VANOS. This potent engine delivers 355 horsepower in a range from 5,800 to 6,000 rpm while also developing 343 pound feet of torque from 1,350 to 5,250 rpm. The engine is positioned longitudinally up front, and its energy reaches all four wheels with BMW’s intelligent AWD system, metered through an eight-speed Steptronic sports automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and a standard launch control feature.
The new SAV is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top track speed of 130 mph. The Sports chassis is specifically tuned to M Performance specifications, with increased camber on the front axle, adaptive Dynamic Damper Control and enhanced braking system for optimum handling characteristics. The intelligent BMW xDrive four-wheel drive system features rear wheel-drive characteristics providing M driving dynamics and performance under virtually all conditions. In light of the performance of the new BMW X4 M40i, the braking system has also been upgraded. The increased size of the brake discs on the front axle and the optimized brake pads on all four wheels ensure that the new BMW X4 M40i can be reined in, even in the sportiest of driving scenarios.
The X4 M40i rolls exclusively on Michelin Pilot Super Sport Ultra High Performance 245/40 R20 x 8.5” tires up front and 275/35 R20 x 10” rear tires mounted on 5-stylized “V”-spoke M light alloy wheels, and there are stronger springs and stabilizers and increased front axle camber. The adaptive dampers are specifically tuned to M Performance specifications and the BMW xDrive four wheel drive system with its rear wheel-drive characteristics including Performance Control, ensure a neutral self-steering response as well as a reduced roll tendency while guaranteeing optimum driving pleasure.
A sports exhaust system is included with tailpipes on both sides finished in Chrome Black and valve control, and emphasized color accents and selected M elements in the interior (M leather steering wheel, M gear lever, digital model lettering on the instrument cluster) all combine to deliver the typical M character in the BMW X4 M40i.
In terms if its design, exclusive technical and visual accents showcase the stretched, powerful lines of the classic stylistic icon of a sporty coupe and are further underlined by selectively applied color accents in metallic Ferric Grey, clearly setting it apart from the other BMW X4 models. The wing mirrors as well as the vertical struts of the signature BMW kidney grille are painted in exclusive metallic Ferric Grey. The same color also adorns the new aero design element in the large air intakes located on the extreme outer edges of the front apron, drawing the eye to the visual centre of gravity and even closer to the road. The exclusivity of the BMW X4 M40i is underlined by the chrome model lettering.
From the rear, the new BMW X4 M40’si uniqueness is instantly recognizable. At first glance, the wide, flat rear end with the L-shaped LED rear lights and upgraded diffuser optics immediately suggest its mission statement. The split dual tailpipes, unique to the BMW X4 M40i, are split left and right, and the sports exhaust system, finished in Chrome Black with valve control, also suggest its performance potential, and is confirmed by the powerful, resonant
sound of the engine and exhaust note.
The bold athletic image of the X4 M40i’s is further supplemented by the exclusive, optional 20-inch M double-spoke light-alloy wheels in two-tone metallic Ferric Grey, with polished, sculpted faces. Blending with the two-part contour line, the muscular flanks and the modeled C pillars illustrate the vehicle’s dynamic credentials.
The cabin’s interior reflects the uniqueness of the sporty, X4 M40i emphasizing its typical BMW M Performance pedigree. The door sills bear the “X4 M40i” lettering, which also lights up on the instrument cluster when the vehicle is unlocked and remains visible when driving. Navigation instructions and vehicle status messages are superimposed over the lettering as required. This dynamic impression is rounded off by the new standard M leather steering wheel with shifter paddles and the M logo on the selector lever of the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission.
Safety equipment and features along with connectivity abound in the X4 M40i, such as: the Driving Assistant Plus with pedestrian and collision warning with City brake activation; Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality and Lane Departure Warning are available upon request. The BMW ConnectedDrive Services option provides access to the intelligent vehicle networking of the driver, vehicle and environment. Innovative services such as the Concierge Service or the Real-Time Traffic Information system may be accessed via the permanently installed SIM card. Apps and extensive on-line applications are also available when BMW ConnectedDrive Services are installed in the vehicle.
The Intelligent Emergency Call is standard fare, and its scope and capabilities not only reacts when assistance is manually requested, but it also activates automatically in the case of an accident, transmitting the vehicle’s location and the potential risk of injury to the occupants even if no one in vehicle is able to answer.
My test 2016 BMW X4 M40i was base priced at $57,800. It wore an exterior finish of Alpine White and had a Black interior. The as tested sticker totaled $70,145. After factoring in all of the options, which included: the Cold Weather Package, Driver Assistance Plus, Lighting Package, Technology Package, 20” M 5 “V”-spoke alloy wheels, Rear View Camera, Heated front seats, ACC Stop & Go + Active Driving Assistant, Surround View, Parking Assistant, Navigation System, smartphone integration and Destination and Handing charge.
SUMMARY: The 2016 BMW X4 M40i SAV is often referred to as a coupe by BMW, and while it does project a coupe-like image with its pronounced curved roofline and blacked out “B” and “C” pillars, it is in reality a four-door sedan or SAV – Sports Activity Vehicle, and like its larger sibling, the BMW X6 M, the X4 is a performance machine that delivers outstanding driving dynamics. The M Sports Automatic is commanded by an electronic selector on the center console offering the driver not only the Drive mode, but also Sport and M Manual modes for absolute control of gear selection.
Aluminum pull-style paddles on the steering wheel exclusive to BMW M allow manual shifting (Right for upshifts, Left for downshifts). In the M Manual mode, each chosen gear is held up to redline giving the driver perfect throttle-steering control of the vehicle in demanding driving conditions. The transmission will not upshift or downshift automati¬cally in this mode. Another feature of the M Manual mode is Launch Control, which enables the driver to accelerate from a standstill with maximum performance. Then, with the transmission in stage M1, the driver presses down the brake pedal and moves the accelerator to at least 60% throttle, setting Launch Control to standby. Standby status is confirmed by “starter’s flag” symbol in the instrument cluster. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the vehicle will accelerate with full power. In the process, the M Sports Automatic transmission automatically upshifts at the ideal points, with the fastest possible shifts and optimum wheelspin control. Launch Control may be terminated at any time by reducing the throttle position.
The ride quality is very comfortable – neither too harsh, or too soft. The technology level is stellar, but unless driven to extreme levels, such technology will probably never come into play – and, if it does, the driver and vehicle occupants will likely not notice it.
Rearward visibility is limited through the rear window and entry into the driver’s seat necessitated my folding forward to avoid hitting my head and to clear the radically curved roofline. On the plus side however, controls and switchgear, once inside are well placed for optimum ease of use, and the seating is both comfortable and supportive. The clamshell opening glovebox and the folding and removable rear cargo cover both offer nice touches and added convenience.
Overall performance and handling are optimally enhanced by the advanced Integrated Chassis Management system, which networks all drivetrain and suspension components.
Bottom line, the bold exterior styling, though perhaps not for everyone, gives way to a sumptuous and comfortable interior design, and the performance characteristics are just what the racing enthusiast ordered. However, the question arises, “Was there really a need for an SAV in the 4-series lineup? Maybe not, but not everyone can afford an X6 M, and the X4 M40i is a one very nice very quick and less expensive ride that is capable of hauling the mail with gusto.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 BMW X4 M40i
|Price as Tested:||$70,145.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve inline 6-cylinder M Performance TwinPower Turbocharged with High Precision Direct Injection System, Valvetronic and Double VANOS.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||355 @ 5,800-6,000 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||343 @ 1,350-5,250 rpm|
|Transmission:||8HP45 Eight-speed Steptronic sports automatic with standard launch control.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / BMW intelligent AWD system.|
Front – Double-joint spring strut axle.
Rear – Five-link axle in lightweight construction.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with DSC, ABS, DTC, CBC, DBC, Dry Braking function, Fading Compensation, DSC cross-linked with all-wheel drive xDrive, Performance Control, Hill Descent Control; dynamic damper control (VDC).|
|Tires:||Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/40 R20 x 8.5” front / 275/35 R20 x 10” rear mounted on 5-stylized “V”-spoke M light alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||184.5 inches|
|Width:||82.2 inches – with mirrors|
|Curb Weight:||4,235 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||17.7 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||Not given|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed|
|0 – 60 mph:||4.7 seconds – Top Track Speed=150 mph|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.