Due for its formal public debut next month at the New York Auto Show, the new 2015 BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe adds one more high-spirited crossover to the automaker's burgeoning arsenal of lifestyle-focused "X" vehicles. Like the larger BMW X6, this stylish mid-size 5-door intentionally blurs the lines of design convention in an attempt to carve out its own unique market niche. Arriving in showrooms this spring, the X4 Sport Activity Coupe will be available in two models: the X4 xDrive28i that opens at $45,625 and the X4 xDrive35i that starts at $48,925.

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Although roughly the same length as BMW's X3 Sports Activity Vehicle from which it borrows many basic platform and powertrain elements, the new X4 clearly goes its own way with respect to exterior design. Displaying a good deal of the elegantly aggressive character previewed in the Concept X4 that was presented last year in Shanghai, the production X4 features bolder fascia detailing and body character lines than the restyled 2015 BMW X3. It also presents a sleeker profile thanks to a 1.5-inch lower roofline which crests over the front seats before resolving into the abbreviated rear deck/hatch. Buyers seeking to add even more curbside presence to the X4 also can opt for BMW M Sport and xLine trim packages.

Well-finished and well-appointed, the cabin on the BMW X4 shares much of its design character with the X3 but boasts even more standard equipment, including an iDrive multimedia controller, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, rear Park Distance Control and a power liftgate that can be upgraded to full hands-free status with the optional Smart Opener. The seats in the X4 also are mounted lower in the vehicle than in the X3 to give it more of a coupe-like feel, and dropping all three backs on the flat-folding 40/20/40 rear bench increases cargo capacity from 17.7 to 49.4 cu ft. 

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Pop the hood on the new X4 and you'll find one of two well-proven BMW TwinPower Turbo engines. Both are backed by an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission that sends power to each corner via the automaker's highly efficient xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The X4 xDrive28i packs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower while the X4 xDrive35i comes with the 3.0-liter inline-6 that turns out 300 ponies. BMW says that extra muscle is sufficient to trim the 0-60-mph time for the top-line X4's from 6.0 to 5.2 seconds. 

To improve fuel economy, the X4 also features BMW's auto start/stop system and driver-selectable Eco Pro technology that actively regulates power usage by various ancillary systems and puts the vehicle into coasting mode when the throttle is closed. Models with the optional navigation system also offer supplemental Eco Pro Route options as well as BMW's Proactive Driving Assistant that uses data from the GPS system to provide even more specific advice on avoiding potential traffic problems. Like AWD versions of the X3, the new X4 is fitted with the latest Gen III xDrive package that includes Performance Control that works with the Dynamic Stability Control to further enhance the cornering capability of the vehicle's sport-tuned suspension. 

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As with other BMW models, X4 buyers will be able to enhance the standard package with a host of optional high-tech touches. The list includes everything from a full-color Head-Up Display, touchpad-enhanced iDrive controller (with the new-gen navigation system), Surround View camera, Parking Assistant and BMW ConnectedDrive Services & Apps to Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection and Active Driving Assistant + Active Cruise Control that includes Pedestrian and Collision Warning as well as City Braking functions. The 2015 BMW X4 xDrive 28i and X4 xDrive 35i will be produced at the automaker's facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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