Munich, Germany - BMW’s second-generation X4 is just as schizoid as its predecessor, an all-wheel drive, go-anywhere SUV below the waistline and a sporty fastback four-door coupé above it. But it’s an oddly appealing combination and the new X4 will undoubtedly be as successful as the outgoing version, which has sold around 200 000 copies worldwide.

The Blue Propeller Boykies say they’ve made it longer (81mm overall on a 54mm longer wheelbase), sleeker (37mm wider and 3mm lower) and sportier, reducing its weight by 50kg and its drag coefficient to 0.30.

The stretched wheelbase translates to a roomier cabin with typically BMW driver-focused flight deck, redesigned sports seats with deeper side bolsters and new knee pads in the sides of the centre console, as well as full seating for three in the back with 27mm more legroom than before. Boot volume is 525 litres, remotely expandable from the boot to 1430 litres.

Interior trim is available in a choice of xLine, M Sport and M Sport X specifications, as well as, for the first time in an X4, a practically unlimited range of options and finishes from the Individual portfolio.

The understated xLine trim features sports seats covered on a mix of leather and fabric, an d high-gloss black trim elements (including the audio and air conditioning control panels) with pearl-effect chrome surrounds and accent strips.

The M Sport model comes with M-specific sports seats, an M leather steering wheel and an anthracite-coloured Individual headliner, trim elements in textured aluminium and accent strips in pearl-effect chrome.

The M Sport X trim has the special seats, steering wheel and headliner, and adds exclusive dark-finished textured aluminium trim elements with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome.

The range of options has been extended, and now includes a huge two-pieces panoramic glass roof with electric sun-blind, electrically adjustable and heatable seats with active ventilation, three-zone climate control, an Ambient Air package that ionises the air and perfumes it with your choice of eight fragrances.

The one we fancy, however is the optional Display Key, with a 5.5cm touch display that shows you fuel level, remaining range, and service information, and can remotely close the power windows and operate the auxiliary heating system.

The new X4 will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show in the first week of March and is scheduled for release in South Africa during the third quarter of 2018, in a shortened line-up of one diesel and three petrol variants, with two more diesels to follow - each driving via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and all-wheel xDrive.

The entry-level X4 is the xDrive20i, with a two-litre turbopetrol four rated for 135kW at 6500 revs and 290Nm from 1350-1450rpm, which BMW says will hit 100 from a standing start in 8.3 seconds and 215km/h flat out, at a nominal cost of 7.3 litres per 100km on the NEDC scale.

The xDrive30i has exactly the same engine, but tuned for 185kW at 6500 revs and 350Nm from 1450-4800rpm - good enough, says BMW, for 0-100 in 6.3 seconds and 240km/h on the autobahn, while depleting the world’s fossil fuel reserves at the nominal NEDC rate of 7.3 litres per 100km.

The M40i is the first of two performance variants from the M skunk works, boasting a three-litre straight-six turbopetrol rated for 265kW at 5500 revs and 500Nm from 1520-4800rpm. BMW quotes 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h, while slurping 9.2 litres per 100km on the old NEDC rating.

The early-arrival diesel is the xDrive20d, a two-litre, four-pot turbo for which Munich quotes 140kW at 4000 revs and 400Nm from 1750-2500rpm. Zero to 100km/h takes eight seconds, they say, and 213km/h represents terminal velocity, while NEDC-rated fuel consumption is quoted as 5.6 litres per 100km.

Due in South Africa in the last quarter of 2018 is the 2993cc turbodiesel six xDrive30d, tuned for 195kW at 4000 revs and 620Nm from 2000-2500rpm, which will launch it to 100km/h in a claimed 5.8 seconds and on to 240km/h, while burning an NEDC-rated 6.2 litres per 100km.

They’ll be joined during the first quarter of 2019 by the M40d with the same three-litre stright six, M-tweaked to 240kW at 4400 revs and 680 Nm from 1750–2750rpm. Acceleration to 100km/h is quoted at 4.9 seconds, top speed is limited to 250km/h and fuel; consumption is  NEDC-rated at 6.6 litres per 100km.

And yes, most of the second video was shot in Cape Town.

IOL Motoring