Leaked images and spec sheets fully expose BMW’s tire-slaying X4 M40i

Leaked pictures uncovered by a German website have given us the best look yet at the upcoming BMW X4 M40i.

Enthusiasts fluent in BMW nomenclature can tell right off the bat that the M40i is a range-topping version of the segment-defying X4 that was developed to hit the track by the Munich-based car maker’s M division. The most important upgrades are consequently found by peeking in the engine bay, where the X4 gains a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 355 horsepower from 5,800 to 6,000 rpm and 342 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,350 to 5,250 rpm.

Bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the six sends the M40i from zero to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds — roughly half a second faster than the 35i, the next model down in the X4 hierarchy — and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. A sport-tuned version of BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system comes standard, though the low-profile tires and a lowered suspension system greatly reduce its off-road prowess.

Outside, the M40i stands out from its tamer siblings thanks to a new front bumper accented by thin strips of chrome trim, a minutely redesigned rear bumper with a pair of round exhaust tips, model-specific 19-inch alloy wheels, and a sprinkling of M badges. All told, it takes a well-trained eye to tell the M40i apart from the aforementioned 35i.

The leaked pictures of the interior published by Bimmertoday are much less revealing. All we know at this point is that the cockpit gets a M-specific three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, new sill plates, and an upgraded instrument cluster. Sport seats likely round out the updates

MW is expected to release full details about the X4 M40i in the next few days. The crossover will go on sale early next year, and it is expected to land in showrooms in time for the 2017 model year. Pricing information will be available at a later date.