By introducing a new set of model numbers, BMW has effectively doubled its range by allowing sedan and coupe models to have different identities.
This seemingly simple process is leading to some fascinating new opportunities and the BMW Concept X4 is the latest to emerge.
It's essentially a coupe version of the current BMW X3 four-door crossover Sport Activity Vehicle, or SAV in BMW-speak. However, the Germans like to call their two-door models Sports Activity Coupes but they'll all be SUVs by the time they hit the USA.
Whereas the X6 was always a rather awkward, cumbersome-looking offshoot from the chunky BMW X5, this new X4 Concept is far more successful, with its well-proportioned curves and interesting swage lines along the flanks to add features to the large doors.
Fitted with black plastic fender flares to house 21" wheels, plus an M-style front spoiler, this is surely how the BMW X4 M will appear a few years after the X4's 2014 launch.
With its higher seating position and generous interior space, for front seat passengers at least, it should make an interesting alternative to a sedan-based coupe or run-of-the-mill crossover SUV.
Painted in Long Beach Blue and fitted with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the Concept X4 is intended to preview the future of BMW's X family, with its tight proportions and contours that promise BMW's trademark performance and driving dynamics.
All this can be experienced when the X4 rolls out of BMW's Spartanburg Plant in 2014 for its market launch.
The front-end has classic BMW styling features such as the kidney grille with hollowed-out, gloss black bars with a milled lower third and a matt finishing to give it extra visual depth. There are also twin circular headlights with LED embellishment.
The front spoiler features prominent sculptured bars with additional air apertures to ensure cool air to the engine. In keeping with BMW Coupe tradition, the side intakes are larger than the inner horizontal bars. Together with the car's wide track and low stance, it emphasizes the promise of performance.
The muscular silhouette show the longer wheelbase, relatively long bonnet, short overhangs and set-back greenhouse of a sports car. The interplay of surfaces creates a contrast of light and shadow, said to give a feeling of agility and power. The prominent rising lines help to create a wedge shape to give the car forward-surging momentum.
The coupe-style roofline sweeps elegantly downwards and makes the car appear longer. The windows extend all the way to the rear, where they are bordered by an interpretation of BMW's Hofmeister kink. The stretched and shallow band of glass creates a dynamic link between the greenhouse and body.
The flanks include a new interpretation of the familiar BMW swage line, with a pair of dynamic lines creating impact on the side view. A concave area under each line lends the flanks a sculptural expression. The surface volume and contour definition deepens as the lines extend towards the tail, giving the rear more stature. They also draw you to the flared wheel arches that enhance the powerful imagery.
Undoubtedly more details will emerge about this interesting new concept and the production vehicle it heralds, but fitted with either BMW's 240hp 2.0L turbo i4 or 300hp 3.0L turbo i-6 motors and an eight-speed transmission, the X4 promises to be an interesting proposition for new car buyers in 2014.