Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
The BMW X line is becoming increasingly more significant with the advent of new model types to strengthen the core of the SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) line and appease consumers looking for active lifestyle utilities with character, novelty and performance. Currently in dealerships, the $57,800 BMW X4 M40i is blessed with a paddle shifting M steering wheel, unique 20” M light-alloy double-spoke rims tucked in specific Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber for maximum grip (optional), a sports exhaust with Black Chrome tailpipes, sports chassis and of course the newly introduced inline 6-cylinder engine.
To experience the latest X edition I ventured to Salinas, California located on the Central Coast where we spent time driving through picturesque panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Salad Bowl of the world, the adventurous roads were perfect for the vehicle’s DNA, which is typical BMW AWD performance by way of xDrive. In this case the system is rear wheel biased to meet the driving dynamics BMW was trying to ascertain. Along with explicitly tuned dampers to help reduce body roll, the X4 M40i felt firm and planted through winding roads and abrupt cornering. Of course this is not your average SUV with taller proportions and sluggish componentry. The X4 was designed to closely mimic a car hence its lower stature and coupe-like dimensions.
Keep in mind the X4 M40i is not a full-fledged BMW M like the X5 M and X6 M, but it receives M packaging, technology and design cues to uplift its systemic M persona from Special Forces operative Wade Wilson to Marvel Comic hero Deadpool. It essentially falls under the M Performance moniker. Accelerated powers begin with the newfangled M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine dispersing 355-horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque which allows the German SAV to dart from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The 3-liter is paired with BMW’s fluid and fast reacting 8-speed STEPTRONIC sports transmission. Acceleration was smooth with continuous torque on demand.
The decision to build the X4 M40i was easy for BMW executives and offers the market another playful utility to decipher from while extending the X roster. Inquiring minds can choose from seven exterior hues such as Long Beach Blue metallic, six Nevada Leather upholstery themes and four various interior trims. Its thick, multifunction steering wheel, wide dead pedal, comfortable seats, Head-up Display, the option of setting the Driving Dynamics Control in SPORT or ECO PRO mode and of course iDrive, BMW Online, BMW Apps and BMW ConnectedDrive made for a relaxing and interactive two-hour drive evaluation. I’m a fan of smart and intuitive vehicles and BMW ascertains you receive the best of both worlds: performance and intelligence.
Depending on your requirements — based on location or career — an array of upgrade packages are available for your M40i beginning with the $950 Cold Weather Package (very much needed in Maryland right now), $1,700 Driver Assistance Plus, $1,900 Lighting Package, $2,750 Technology Package, $1,900 ACC Stop & Go + Active Driving Assistant and many more. Though, a plethora of key features are standard such as Automatic Start/Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, Dynamic Damper Control, Sport seats, Dynamic Cruise Control, Park Distance Control, Harman Kardon surround sound system, BMW TeleServices, etc. However, it would have been nice if the steering wheel adjustments were not manual.
All in all the 2016 BMW X4 M40i presents anther solid offering in the X line which adds more diversity to the Bimmer crew for greater numbers to compete against the likes of Mercedes, Porsche and Audi.