Well, this was unexpected. A trailer carrying multiple versions of the all-new BMW X4 has been caught on camera near the company’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Thankfully, the pre-production prototypes were showing their full bodies without even the smallest piece of camouflage to hide the sheet metal, which as you can see has gone through quite a few substantial changes compared to the current X4.
The roofline is now more sloped towards the rear, lending the X4 a more fastback-styled body ending with a pair of taillights that have basically nothing in common with those of the existing model. BMW appears to be in a rush to come out with the second generation considering the version available today has been around for only about three years and it looks like it will skip the usual mid-cycle refresh and head straight to a second gen. It’s probably because the new X3 is now out and therefore BMW wants the sleeker X4 to be up to date in terms of underpinnings.
By the looks of it, BMW will sell the hotter M40i and M40d derivatives from day one. The gasoline model will be motivated by a turbocharged inline-six 3.0-liter engine taken from the X3 M40i where it pumps out 355 horsepower and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque channeled to an xDrive setup through an eight-speed automatic transmission. That’s good for a 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in 4.6 seconds before hitting an electronically governed 155 mph (250 kph), so look for very similar numbers from the equivalent X4 M40i.
As for the diesel-powered M40d, the identity of the engine is not known at this point, but some are saying it will get the new quad-turbo 3.0-liter, inline-six mill from the 750d. In the fullsize sedan, it pushes out a healthy 394 hp (294 kW) together with a gargantuan 560 lb-ft (760 Nm), though it will likely be detuned for this new application.
The comprehensive batch of spy images doesn’t include shots of the interior, but it’s not like we actually need them considering the cabin will be largely carried over from the X3. Taking into account BMW didn’t even bother to camouflage these prototypes, chances are an official reveal is right around the corner. A best-case scenario would have to be next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, unless the Mercedes GLC Coupe rival will premiere in December in Los Angeles. Further down the line, a full-on X4 M will nicely complete the family portrait.
Photos: PalBay/Chris Doane Automotive