BMW is to launch its second-generation X4 in Ireland this summer. And the emphasis is on SUV and coupe styling combined.

The car will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next month but we do have some advance information to suggest that the X4 is going to be very much in the style of the other current cars in the X-range. The influence of the X3, for example, is very evident both externally and internally. The fog lights integrated into the outer air intakes are just one cue and the cabin styling is very much part of the overall X look.

The new car is longer, wider and lower than the one it replaces and BMW says extra legroom is a key feature. 

It will arrive in Ireland initially with two diesel four cylinder engines - a 2.0 litre and a 4.0 litre - and these will be joined later by a six cylinder petrol and a diesel. All versions will have the xDrive full-time four wheel drive system and all will feature a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

The dashboard features a 6.5 " screen, which is freestanding and intelligently positioned and angled, as with other BMW cars. Again, the X range styling is very evident.

There are three full-sized seats in the rear and legroom has been increased by some 27 mm. The boot is a generous 525 litres capacity. With the seats folded down this increases to over 1400 litres, which means the car should take pretty much any load thrown at it. In fact, the overall increase in dimensions should make the car a very roomy SUV.

It will be interesting to see what the customer profile of this car will be but I'm sure Volvo, with its dominant XC range, will be taking careful note of what levels of equipment are coming on the X4 and looking over its shoulder at what might be its strongest competitor.