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BMW X4 confirmed for production in 2014
Tim Pollard (artist's impressions by Christian Schulte)
16 January 2012 17:35
More details have emerged about BMW's forthcoming X4. As previously reported by CAR, the new 2014 X4 is in essence a baby X6 - a sort of squashed coupe-cum-4x4 to appeal to outward-going types.
Now Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW's board member in charge of production, has confirmed the new BMW X4 will be built at Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, USA.
Mnich is investing a further $900 million in Spartangburg between now and 2014, neatly coinciding with the launch of the X4.
Why BMW is launching the new X4
'This is in response to rising global demand for our BMW X models and the expansion of the BMW X family to include the BMW X4,' said Arndt. 'This will create 300 new jobs by the end of this year. This will allow us to produce 350,000 units in Spartanburg in the mid-term.'
The X4 fits between the X3 and X5 and is designed to target the forthcoming Merc GLK, Audi Q6 and Porsche Cajun. No surprises there.
But while we have earlier reported the X4 would be a two-door, Munich has switched to a four-door configuration. How come? 'Because marketing pegs bigger volumes on the four-door, and because production saves a chunk of money by retaining the lower inner and outer side panels as well as the lower door skins,' explains a source close to the project.
The roof and greenhouse will of course be revised to give the car a sportier coupe look. Other bespoke items are lights, bumpers, grille, wheels and exhaust tailpipes.
BMW's history of building cars in the US
BMW started building cars in Spartanburg in 1994. Munich has already spent $6bn on the plant, which has built six different models in that time: 318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6 and X3.
It has built two million cars in that time; in 2011 the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for more than 130 markets around the world.