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by Tim Beissmann

A near-production-ready concept previewing the upcoming BMW X4 is set to debut at January’s 2013 Detroit motor show as the German manufacturer looks to create yet another niche in the premium SUV market.

Expected to debut in international showrooms from late next year, US publication Autoweek reports the X4 will lob around the same time as the Audi Q5-based Porsche Macan, which will be similar in terms of its concept, shape and size.

The BMW X4 will be to the X3 what the X6 (pictured) is to the X5 – a coupe-inspired sports crossover. The X4 will inherit the mid-sized SUV’s monocoque platform and cloak it with a muscular and more aggressively styled body with a sweeping roofline.

Like the X5/X6 duo, the X4 will share its drivetrains with the X3, including a range of four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending drive to all four wheels.

Autoweek also reports a high-performance X4 M is on the way for the end of 2014, and speculates it could be powered by a specially tuned version of the twin-turbocharged inline-six destined for the next-generation BMW M3.

A detuned version of the triple-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel from the recently released X5/X6 M50d models is also in line for the X4 to expand the new BMW M Performance line-up.

BMW has previously confirmed the X4 will be produced alongside the X3 at the company’s Spartanburg facility in South Carolina, US.




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