Of Fours & Sixes

Auto Today|July 2018

Of Fours & Sixes

With the launch of X4’s second generation, BMW has earmarked the sports activity vehicle for India. We drove it at the global manufacturing hub of the X vehicles in Spartanburg, USA and returned suitably impressed.

Being the inventor of the SAV or the crossover, BMW seemed to have fallen behind in the race to come up with an SUV that caters to every need and in every segment, after it opened up the segment nearly two decades back with the X5. It made up lost ground with the launch of the X1 about a decade back and has since been rapidly expanding and juggling sometimes even reinventing its SUV portfolio. In its efforts to fill up the gaps in its SAV portfolio the company added the X6 to provide an upward alternative for the X5 buyer and then plugged the gap between the X1 and the X3 with the X2.

The X4 was born to provide a trendier alternative to the X3 in much the same way that the X6 provides a lifestyle variant to the X5. Both the X4 and the X6 are based on the same SUV-coupe crossover concept and look similar from most angles so much so that some people have been calling the X4 a baby X6. Besides, the X4 sat between the X3 and the X5 and plugged another of those gaps. This year we were expecting a midlife facelift for the car that was first launched globally in 2014 but BMW has made such drastic changes to the vehicle that what we drove was actually the 2nd generation of the X4. And the reason we were driving it at its international media launch for the first time was because BMW has decided to launch the car in India later in the year or early next year, given the success of the X6. Like the X6, the X4 will not be a practical, utilitarian or even a made-with-a-practical-the-mind choice but a trendier car, an emotional purchase.

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July 2018