Not a fan of BMW’s X6 SAC? Maybe this smaller more stylish X4 SAC to be shown at the Shanghai Motor Show will be more to your liking.
The BMW X6 SAC is an interesting car and not just because of its silly name – it’s called a SAC… You see, it’s based on the X5 but from what I can tell, it’s slightly worse than that car in almost every possible way. Up until recently the X6 could only seat four people, two of which had to be children or Richard Hammonds, there’s less space in the boot for putting things, there’s very little rearward visibility thanks to its sloping roof line – the rear vision mirror only shows roof -, it’s more expensive than an equivalent X5 and to look at, it’s er, striking. But the trade off is you’re getting something that’s slightly more dynamic and you’re less likely to see another one in the shopping center car park. It isn’t really a car you buy with your head, unless you’re a bit mad.
Now BMW have released images of their X4 SAC Concept, which we’d imagine is just like the X6 but slightly more cramped inside since it’s based on the smaller X3. So it comes with all the downsides of the X6, except, the X4, to these eyes at least, looks absolutely magnificent. There’s quite a sizeable chunk of 3 Series Gran Turismo in the design, and this is good. You also get the same slightly wonky character line that can often make the X3 look a little awkward, but with the sloping rear hatchback design of the X4, that character line makes a bit more sense, the overall appearance signals “sporting elegance and powerful robustness” – good.
Around the back is where things can be a bit tricky and for me it’s where the bigger X6 SAC’s design is let down, but there are no such problems with this new X4. I think you’ll agree that it looks rather pleasant. The flared rear wheel arches and the way the rearward set cabin slopes inwards give the car a nice purposeful stance and hint at the X4’s athletic ability on the road. Then there’s the nice jewelry that’s going on right around the car, particularly the rear where we’ve got what BMW call ‘cut-out picks’ they’re those shiny bits sticking out from beneath the front and rear bumpers kind of like a diffuser, admittedly they’re probably in no way purposeful, but they look cool. Which is important.
BMW have really tried to make the face look as three dimensional as possible to give the car identity. So you get a stretched kidney grille with tricky fins – look closely at the lower half, you’ll see -, big aggressive air intakes, and well-defined LED headlights.
Overall it’s quite a busy design. There are lines that come to abrupt stops and others that seem to pop up out of nowhere, but it all comes together to make a refreshing and delightful design.
The BMW X4 Concept will make its public debut at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month, with a production version to follow shortly after. Basically, imagine the concept with some actual door handles, less glitzy door mirrors, and some body kit tweakery and you have the production version.
The X4 should use much of the same hardware found in the current X3 with a more dynamic suspension tune. So expect to see a range of turbocharged diesel and petrol four and six cylinder engines coupled to the brilliant eight speed automatic transmission that’s now found in all of BMWs sub-M models.
Until the Shanghai Motor Show later this month that’s all we can tell you, but take a gander through the images and tell us what you think by tweeting us @carhootsUK or leaving a comment below!
By Aiden Taylor ( @AidenT_RD )