Launch: BMW X4


BMW X4 & xDrive (1)

A bright and early day for the BMW xDrive Experience. It starts at 0900. Needless to say, we were late.

Sepang, 21st August, 2014 – BMW Malaysia launched its niche-market SUV, the X4, today. In conjunction with the launch, BMW also gave its visitors a taste of its proprietary xDrive system.

BMW 01_resize

Dr. Gerhard Pils, flamboyantly delivering his last speech as MD of BMW Malaysia

At the launch gambit, BMW Malaysia took the opportunity to introduce its new Managing Director, Mr. Alan Harris. Outgoing MD Dr. Gerhard Pils was also present.

BMW 02_resize

Mr. Alan Harris, the new MD for BMW Malaysia, giving his inaugural speech

The X4, which BMW markets as a Sports Activity Coupé (SAC), follows the X6 as its primary inspiration, although the X4 is based on the X3 platform. With over 250,000 X6 units sold around the world, it is no surprise that BMW has opted to push the limits of the already-saturated market segment with the X4. Although termed a coupé, the X4, like the X6, has 5 doors.

BMW 03_resize

What’s a launch without the rollout, yeah?

Powered by a 2-litre (1,997cc) TwinPower Turbo engine (with a twin-scroll turbocharger), BMW claims the X4 gets 241.38hp (from 5,000rpm to 6,500rpm) and 350Nm of torque (from 1,250rpm to 4,800rpm). Transferring power to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive system is an eight-speed Steptronic ‘box, capable of propelling the X4 from standstill to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds; pretty good for a vehicle that weighs over 1.8 tonnes (unladen/kerb weight). Despite its performance figures, the X4 is claimed to burn only 7.3 litres of petrol per 100km (≈13.7 km/l) and expel 169g/km of CO2. Coincidentally, the X4’s power figures are highly similar to the Volvo XC60 launched last June.

BMW X4 & xDrive (3)

The spanking-new X4, in M Sport guise, with the two MD’s

By default, the X4 gets the xLine package; 19-inch light alloy rims, leather upholstery, door sill finish, woodmark, stainless steel loading sill, and various aluminium interior trim. To mention the obvious, ATSA comes as standard (with BMW’s own abbreviations). BMW’s Efficient Dynamics in the X4 has 3 settings: Sport, Eco, and Eco Pro. When Eco Pro mode is engaged, the X4 automatically uncouples the engine to the drivetrain (from 50km/h to 160km/h) when the accelerator is not depressed. BMW Performance Control works in parallel with the latest xDrive system, braking the inner wheels of the vehicle when taking a sharp corner to decrease understeer.

BMW X4 & xDrive (4)

The on-road portion of the xDrive Experience

Notable inclusions of the event was an overview of Connected Drive; a human interface and connectivity platform that BMW pioneered, and the xDrive system. BMW Connected Drive allows the driver to monitor fuel consumption, journey duration, social media updates, music-by-smartphone, messages, and calls, in addition to a host of other apps. Download the Connected Drive app (Apple and Android, for now) and you’ll get all these settings stored on your smartphone. We also got the opportunity to sample BMW’s xDrive system, aptly called the BMW xDrive Experience. In a nutshell, it is a practical catalogue of the newest xDrive’s capabilities, be it on-road or off-road. On the road, we got a feel of the dynamic traction and stability controls on the X Series vehicles, at speed.

BMW X4 & xDrive (5)

And… the arguably more exciting off-road portion

Off-road was a bit more exciting, where we got to drive the vehicles through moderately-rough terrain. We tested the xDrive’s ability to distribute power between the front and rear axles, in addition to transferring power to each wheel, depending on traction. Hill Descent Control allowed us to drive down a steep slope without touching the accelerator or brakes. In all, we thought that the xDrive system worked particularly well. For more photographs of the xDrive experience, head over to our Flickr page.

BMW X4 & xDrive (6)

The side slope part of the off-road exercise was pretty daunting. The xDrive system manages it rather well… but we didn’t know it at that time.

For now, only the xDrive28i variant is available, with an optional M Sport package for the younger-spirited. The X4 is yours for RM438,800 (OTR without insurance), while the M Sport package costs an additional RM30,000. Will the X4 be suitable for your delectable tastes? Judging from BMW’s 10% sales increase (year-to-date; 2013/2014-July), the luxury-sports marque is doing well in Malaysia.

BMW X4 & xDrive (9)

The xDrive system is demonstrated here in extreme detail, showing how only two wheels (on each side, no less) can power the vehicle over an obstacle

READ ALSO  BMW Recalling E46s Over Faulty Taillights

About Kiron Subhash

The most recent member of the collective, Kiron now follows the team to cover local and international automotive events. He is now training in multimedia journalism, acquiring experience in onsite reporting, feature writing, photography, videography, and social media engagement. Conspicuously influenced by Andrew and Jack in the rewarding life of a biker, Kiron now harbours a deep-seated love for motorcycle riding (and fuel-saving).

Recommended for you