BMW shrinks X6 to fill new niche

26 Jul, 2010 4:59pm Sam Hardy

Firm planning a luxury four-seater coupé version of recently unveiled X3 compact and SUV twin-opening rear hatch from 5-Series Gran Turismo set to appear.

The X6 is getting a baby brother! Auto Express has learned that BMW is planning a head-turning smaller version of its coupé-styled SUV – and the newcomer could carry the X4 badge.

Following the success of the X6, which has exceeded sales expectations, BMW has identified that there’s room for a baby brother based on
the recently revealed X3. Codenamed X-Style by BMW insiders, the car would get a very similar appearance to the X6 with a rakish coupé-like roofline and a muscular body.

But there’s a twist to the story. Whereas the X6 gets a conventional tailgate, to make the newcomer stand out even more it is likely to benefit from a twin-hatch system, just like the 5-Series Gran Turismo. It will give the X4 an extra level of flexibility, allowing owners to open the entire tailgate or just the saloon-style boot.

Inside, there will be a four-seater layout with two individual rear seats, emphasising the X4’s more luxurious positioning within the X range. Under the skin, it would share engines and gearboxes with the X3, so expect a super-efficient 181bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel for the xDrive20d, capable of 0-60mph in around eight seconds, yet returning 50mpg and emitting just 150g/km of CO2. However, there will also be a range-topping xDrive35i petrol variant featuring a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine with around 300bhp. That would give it enough punch to do 0-60mph in around five seconds and a top speed in excess of 150mph.

The X4 has been on the drawing board for a while now, but the project was put on ice as a result of the financial crisis. It is now expected to make an appearance in concept form at a major motor show next year. If the public reception is positive, BMW will put the car into production and sales could start in 2012.

That’s not it for new BMW models, though. The firm is also planning to grow its sales with a refreshed 3-Series – also due in 2012 – and a front-wheel-drive version of the 1-Series to compete with Audi’s A1 supermini. The MegaCity electric car range is also imminent. The company will launch its new 6-Series coupé later this year, too. 

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I think BMW need to ease off on the product offensive now. It's all becoming a bit deperate looking.

Someone wake me up either BMW or Audi 'invent' the people carrier. I can't wait for that one.

Loving the new Audi 'Specialist Division' 7. It's so breath-takingly original.

I can't believe the number of models in BMW's range, it's quite frankly ridiculous and in danger of completely diluting the brand. I came across an X1 the other day? I didn't even know they were doing one. So now we have the 1Series 3/5dr hatch, saloon, CC and now X1, then the 3Series Saloon/Estate/Coupe/CC/X3 etc etc I cannot go on, so BMW have about 30 different bodystyles across their ranges. Sadly they all look exactly like each other it's just some look to eat more pies than others. And I agree about the new Rover SD1....ahem, sorry, Audi A7....very original indeed...

Thats terrific news. Why stop there when you could evolve the range and create even more niche models. Create a problem then sell a solution to the consumers.

Please create an X2, X7, X8, X9 and X10, I'm sure millions of people would want one.

Now that BMW have combined a coupe body onto a SUV chasis of the X6, lets hope they will develope a double decker body on a coupe chasis and call it the X8. The X10 can be based on the X8 and have a side car attached.

5 Gran Tourismo - overpriced ugly hatch back, utterly pointless & unnecessary. Why call it Gran Tourismo?? Simply to make it sound more exotic and rare for the wrong reasons.

Jealousy is rampant!

BMW is one of the highest selling brands at the moment! The 3Series is the largest selling car in its class... Why should they stop producing different versions? They have to most coherant lineup of anyone.

Crossover/4x4 X1, X3, X5, X6

Saloon 1, 3, 5, 6, 7

Estate/Hatch 1, 3, 5, (on its way) 6 (on its way)

Plus the sevens and a great range of bikes too.

Scott1234... It is called a Gran Turismo because it is designed as a grand tourer. It is a car foir crossing continents in, in comfort and with pleasure! Has been around for a long time. If you want to ask that question, ask it of the Golf GTI or any other everyday car that has GT in the name, because they are the ones using it to boost their image! They are NOT Grand Tourers!!!

A Grand Tourer is a large front engined RWD luxury car which eats miles whilst inducing as little driver or passenger fatigue as possible. A GT is not a Chelsea Tractor with a swoopy body...

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