CarAdvice’s spy photographers have snapped a seemingly production-ready BMW X4 M40i undergoing high-speed testing at the Nurburgring in Germany.
Spotted covered with camouflage in August, these images uncover every exterior detail of the forthcoming X4 flagship, which boasts an M-enhanced sports body kit, large brakes, and, most significantly, tailpipes on either side of its rear diffuser, making it distinct from all other X4s.
The twin outlets hint at the presence of something more serious under the bonnet. We’ve previously reported that a 3.0-litre inline-six turbo petrol engine is almost certain to fill this role, while CarAdvice sources have suggested that the M40i could share its powertrain with the upcoming M2 coupe.
Power of up to 280kW has been mooted, which would give the M40i a healthy kick over the 225kW X4 35i. Whatever the final figure, it will be distributed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The production model may get different alloy wheels to this test car, and will also score the usual M Performance upgrades, including uprated suspension, steering tweaks, and sporty interior elements with a smattering of M emblems.
Given its production-ready appearance, we’re expecting the BMW X4 M40i to be officially revealed before the end of the year – potentially at next month’s Los Angeles auto show – and to reach local showrooms during 2015. A BMW Australia spokeswoman said she could not shed any light on the new model.
The M40i looks set to be the flagship model in the X4 range, at least for the foreseeable future.
In September 2013, BMW product communications manager Bernhard Ederer poured cold water on the idea of a fully fledged X4 M performance model, telling CarAdvice that he wouldn’t bet on the creation of such a vehicle because it would likely steal sales from the more expensive X6 M.
We believe BMW will consider an X4 M further down the track, however, particularly given rival Mercedes-Benz is preparing an AMG version of its new-generation GLC SUV (replacing GLK), and Audi has promised an expansion of its RS line-up that will almost certainly feature an RS Q5 for that model’s second-generation.
Click the Photos tab for more BMW X4 M40i spy shots.