Another day, another round of prototype cars captured lapping the Nürburgring. This time the YouTube channel cvdzijden – Supercar Videos was in the right place at the right time to watch BMW test drivers wrestle a pre-production X4 M around the Nordschleife. Actually, places would be the correct word here, as we catch the athletic crossover bounding around the course from multiple locations. And though we don’t get the sense that tires are being terrifically abused, there’s enough squealing through some of the corners to let us know this isn’t a leisurely afternoon drive to test the cup holders.
Performance crossovers are something of an oxymoron to many people, and for good reason. So often such vehicles are comfortable conveyances but struggle to be more than average in, well, crossover situations like off-roading or spirited driving. We drove the X4 a couple month ago and actually, BMW already has the spirited driving part pretty well nailed down. We found the all-wheel-drive crossover to be satisfyingly agile and sufficiently motivated between the turns.
The M version, then, should be quite a machine when BMW finally lifts the veil. That’s because the tweaked crossover should all but shun the off-road portion of its duties to embrace corners and straights. We’re expecting to see lowered suspension with a sharper focus on cornering, with a little extra bite coming from subtle aero tweaks front and rear to help it stick to the tarmac. More power will of course be part of the package, with its range-topping 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 turned up a degree or two. Official numbers haven’t been announced, but we’re expecting something to the tune of 475 horsepower (354 kilowatts) turning all four wheels, with a clear rear-wheel bias.
We shouldn’t have much longer to wait, as bits of the camo wrap are already coming off the test vehicles. Look for the X4 M to debut later this year, with sales beginning early-to-mid 2019.