So here we go again. You know the relationship between the BMW X5 and X6, yes? The Munich firm has now applied the same formula to the recently-facelifted F25 X3 to come up with this, the all-new F26 BMW X4. It still has four doors, but now with a sloping roofline, BMW calls it a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC).

It’s built on the underpinning of the second-generation X3, with styling derived from Auto Shanghai 2013’s X4 Concept, which our very own Harvinder presented in April last year. Since then, we’ve spotted the mid-sized sporty SUV out testing numerous times, shedding camouflage along the way.

There are no surprises up front, as the new X4 gets the same face as the updated X3. The car pictured here wears the optional M Sport package (in place of standard and xLine visual packs), which again, is similar to the X3 LCI’s kitted-up form. The rear is all new of course, but it stays faithful to the concept.

Up against the measuring tape, the X4 is 14 mm longer than the X3 at 4,671 mm. More importantly, however, it sits 36 mm closer to the ground than the conventional SUV (or SAV in BMW-speak), with the two front seats mounted 20 mm lower than before for a more immersive driving experience.

Despite having a much lower rear deck, the X4 promises ample space for three passengers in the back. For added flexibility, the 40:20:40 split rear bench, which sits 28 mm lower than in the X3, can be folded down (separately, if needed) to expand the 500-litre boot to a 1,400-litre cargo area.

Up front, there’s the familiar X3 dashboard, complete with the optional Drive Touch Controller and centre-mounted Navigation System Professional display. A selection of high-gloss black panels and aluminium trim strips are available, while standard equipment levels are higher than that of the X3.

Six engines variants are announced for now; split equally between petrol and diesel. All equipped with a four-wheel drive system, the engine options mirror what’s offered on the X3 – xDrive20i (184 hp, 270 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds, top speed 212 km/h), xDrive28i (245 hp, 350 Nm, 6.4 seconds, 232 km/h) and xDrive35i (306 hp, 400 Nm, 5.5 seconds, 247 km/h).

The three diesel options are as such: xDrive20d (190 hp, 400 Nm, 8.0 seconds, 212 km/h), xDrive30d (258 hp, 560 Nm, 5.8 seconds, 234 km/h) and xDrive35i (313 hp, 630 Nm, 5.2 seconds, 247 km/h). Combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the X4 consumes between 5.2 litres per 100 km (xDrive20d) and 8.3 litres per 100 km (xDrive35i).

Moving forward, you can consider this as BMW’s template for future SAC models. As such, the next X6 will sport the same face as the F15 X5 it’s based on, and the same goes to the upcoming X2 model that is to be built on the next-generation X1 platform.