We’ve known about BMW’s new X4 M40i since last week, but today, the Germans came out of hiding behind their finger and made it official.
We’ll go through the specs again, but besides a wealth of added pictures and details, is that we now know it will go on sale in the States in February 2016, at an as of yet, undisclosed price, but surely more than the $49,250 MSRP BMW demands for the 300hp X4 xDrive35i.
Munich’s first ‘M Performance’ version of its X4 crossover basically reconfigures the X4 xDrive35i’s engine and chassis to give it more speed and improved driving dynamics, while barely touching the cosmetics.
The only telltale signs over a regular X4 with an M Sport package are the Ferric Gray metallic accents on the front bumper and mirror caps, the 19-inch alloys, separated twin exhausts with black chrome tailpipes, a 3-Series-sourced M sport steering wheel, model-specific door sills and “X4 M40i” digital lettering on the instrument cluster.
At the heart of the M40i lies an improved iteration of the xDrive35i’s 3.0-liter turbocharged-six delivering 355hp (360PS) between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm and 343 lb-ft (465Nm) of peak torque, an increase of 54hp (54PS) and (65Nm) over the X4 xDrive35i.
Among other upgrades made to the 3.0L mill is a new forged steel crankshaft, pistons with a modified top ring, different crankshaft bearings, high performance spark plugs, a higher level of turbo boost pressure and an increase in the amount of fuel injected, separate oil cooler, an “aerodynamically tuned air intake manifold” and a new exhaust system.
What’s interesting about this unit is its codename “N55B30T0” with the last letter “T” referring to “Top” power output class, according to BMW’s engine nomenclature. Various sources have used the same code for the upcoming M2’s engine in the past, so if true, it could deliver the same output as in the X4.
In the M40i, the straight-six is paired to a tweaked eight-speed automatic with steering-wheel paddle shifters and an “M Performance-specific tuning of the gear shift programs, which features distinctively sporty shifts and higher downshift spontaneity throughout the entire range of engine speeds”. It also comes equipped with ‘Launch Control’ as standard.
With this setup, the X4 M40i hits 60mph in 4.7 seconds and the 100km/h mark in 4.9 seconds, a 0.6 second-improvement over the xDrive35i, while keeping the same restricted top speed of 250km/h (155mph).
BMW’s M engineers recalibrated the standard xDrive all-wheel drive system with more power now being routed to the rear wheels during normal operation, while the SUV also gets stronger springs and stabilizers, increased camber on the front axle, and adaptive dampers specifically tuned to M Performance specs. They also promise to have improved the variable sports steering.
In standard trim, the M40i runs on exclusive 19-inch alloys with either all-season run-flat tires (245/45 R19) or performance run-flat tires (245/45 R19 front and 275/40 R19 rear), or optionally, you can get 20-inch two-tone rims fitted with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires (front 245/40 R20, rear 275/35 R20).
When it reaches US showrooms next year, it will be offered in seven paint colors, six of which are available with M Sport on other X4s, plus the model-exclusive Long Beach Blue hue seen on the press car, and a choice of six Nevada leather upholstery colors and four different interior trim accents.