Set for a formal reveal later this month at the Shanghai Auto Show, the BMW Concept X4 gives a very good idea of the next Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) that will be joining the automaker's lineup here and around the world starting in 2014. Like its larger X6 kin, BMW also insists on referring to this 5-passenger newcomer as a "Sports Activity Coupe." However one chooses to categorize it, the volume-build version of the Concept X4 should make an interesting addition to the family when it does go into production as a more rakish alternative to the X3.

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While full details are pending, BMW has confirmed that the new Concept X4 SAV shares the same 110.6-inch wheelbase as the Concept 4 Series Coupe presented last January in Detroit. While its 183.0-inch overall length is also nearly identical, the X4 is more than 10 inches taller and fills its nicely flared fenderwells with 21-inch alloy wheels rather than the 20-inchers used on the Concept 4 Coupe.

Finished in Long Beach Blue metallic, the Concept X4's overall exterior styling also borrows several elements from the Coupe and the X6, but integrates them with its own sense of design and proportion to give the vehicle a dynamic character set off by a sweeping roofline and subtly aggressive detailing. Up front, the Concept X4's full LED headlamps feature a hexagonal take on the classic BMW "angel eye" perimeter ring, flanking a bold reinterpretation on the automaker's signature twin-kidney grille. The lower fascia features large outboard inlets -- the better to meet "the increased cooling air requirements" of an unspecified but clearly promising engine lineup.

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While the familiar "Hofmeister kink" in the leading edge of its C-pillar remains, the Concept X4's overall profile view does gain a bit more dramatic flair thanks to a new split swage line comprised of two rising elements. The rear quarters of this SAV-to-be team familiar L-shaped LED talliamps with a lower valance area that uses bright dual exhaust outlets to frame a matte-black underside protection panel. Like the Concept X4's lower front fascia, it also carries a trio of chrome-plated milled-metal accents. 

BMW offered no guidance on potential powertrain combinations at this time, but it's likely the production version of the X4 Sport Utility Coupe will offer the same turbocharged 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines as the upcoming 4 Series Coupe and the current X3 SAV, along with an 8-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive. No words - or photos - yet on the interior of the Concept X4, but it too, can be expected to follow the look and overall flexible nature of the current members of BMW's "X Clan." Like the X3, X5 and X6, all production of the new 2014 BMW X4 will take place at the automaker's facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.


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