G06 BMW X6 officially debuts – now larger and more luxurious; M50i packs a 523 hp 4.4L twin-turbo V8
This is the all-new G06 BMW X6, the third generation of the German carmaker’s rather famous Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) – over 443,000 units of the previous two generations have been sold worldwide.
Completely redesigned from the ground up, the X6 not only boasts more visual presence than its predecessor, but is available with plenty of upmarket equipment, some of which are lifted from the flagship 7 Series.
In terms of dimensions, the X6 has grown in almost every area, with the overall length now measuring 4,935 mm (+26 mm), which is accompanied by a 42 mm increase in wheelbase (2,975 mm). The vehicle is also 15 mm wider than before (2,004 mm), while the height has been slashed by 6 mm to 1,696 mm.
Styling-wise, there’s a larger, single-frame kidney grille at the front, which can be specified with illumination if you need to draw more attention to this specific area of the car.
Meanwhile, the sleek headlamps mirror those on the latest G05 X5, and they are now isolated from the grille compared to what you’ll see on the previous E71 generation car. LED headlights come as standard here, with the option to upgrade to either Adaptive LED headlights or BMW Laserlight with Selective Beam.
Viewed from the side, the X6’s coupe-like roofline is retained, although the slope towards the rear is much more dynamic than before, resulting in the rearmost glass section being stretched out more.
You’ll also notice the wheel arches adopt more of a hexagonal shape, and the E71’s character line that runs through the door handles is now omitted. Instead, a line now runs just below the beltline leading to a strong shoulder that links the rear door handle to the taillights. Further down, the Air Breather is now better integrated with the front wheel arch, and progresses to a creased off section that spans both doors.
At the stubby rear end is where you’ll find significantly slimmer LED taillights, which are both wide and sport L-shaped graphics within then. The bottom half of the tailgate also does well to hide its shut line, as it blends into a horizontal plane that also features the reflectors – side slits flank these.
For the X6, BMW offers the xLine and M Sport styling packages, where the former offers a more “traditional SUV” look that includes a bumper with hexagonal-shaped Air Curtains and narrow centre intakes, roof rails, front underguard protection, black wheel arch trim rugged side skirts and an aluminium satin finishing for certain components
The M Sport option meanwhile, gets the M Aerodynamics package with a more aggressive bumper featuring larger intakes, along with body coloured wheel arch trim and a high-gloss black finish for things like the grille and other trims. Being the sportier choice, there’s also Adaptive M suspension, M Sport brakes and an optional M Sport exhaust system. The X6 gets 19-inch light-alloy wheels as standard, but other wheel variants in 20- to 22-inch formats are available as an option.
Moving inside, you’d think you’re in an X5, as the X6’s dashboard layout is downright identical to the more practical Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). The steering wheel, trim and pedal types are dependent on whether you go with the xLine or M Sport package.
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional system, which is also found on more recent models like the 8 Series, 7 Series and of course, the X5, is present here. With it, you get two 12.3-inch displays, one acting as a digital instrument cluster, while the touchscreen Control Display handles infotainment needs. BMW Operating System 7.0 powers both, and you get plenty of features like the BMW Digital Key, Intelligent Personal Assistant, connected services, over-the-air updates and built-in SIM card.
Other items found inside the cabin include a 2.5-zone climate control system, which can be replaced with a four-zone system, and even further enhanced with the Ambient Air package. The options list also has thermoelectric cup holders, glass applications for selected controls, wireless smartphone charging, Rear-seat entertainment Professional and even a Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
To make things even more luxurious, BMW has specified ambient lighting as standard, and the system also comes with the Welcome Light Carpet. If that isn’t enough, pay for the Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge, which makes the panoramic glass roof – now 83% larger – even more of a spectacle.
The standard sports seats are electrically adjustable and heated, but these can be swapped for multifunction units that add on seat ventilation and massage functions for the front driver and passenger. Vernasca leather is the default upholstery, with extended BMW Individual Merino leather available as an option.
On the mention of seats, the X6 still comes with 40:20:40 split-folding rear ones that allows the available boot capacity to be increased to 1,525 litres from 580 litres – the latter is unchanged from the E71.
Safety and driver assistance systems that are standard are Cruise Control with braking function, as well as Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function. You can add on more items like Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Parking Assistant Plus and Driving Assistant Professional.
The last package consists of Traffic jam assistant, lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection, Lane Change Assistant, Evasion Assistant, rear collision warning, road priority warning, wrongway driving warning systems, crossing traffic warning and Lane Change Warning.
At launch, the X6 will be offered with two petrol and two diesel engines, which includes M Performance versions. The first is the M50i with a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 (from the M850i and 750i) that puts out 530 PS (523 hp) and 750 Nm of torque. As the variant with the most horsepower in the range, the M50i will complete the century sprint in 4.3 seconds.
Next up is the xDrive40i that is powered by a 3.0 litre twin-turbo inline-six that serves up 340 PS (335 hp) and 450 Nm, good for a zero to 100 km/h time of 5.5 seconds.
Over at the diesel camp, the both the M50d and sDrive30d come with a 3.0 litre turbodiesel straight-six. However, the M50d with its four turbochargers, has 400 PS (394 hp) and 760 Nm (0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds) at its disposal, while the sDrive30d and its variable geometry turbo offers just 265 PS (261 hp) and 620 Nm (0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds).
All variants will hit a top speed of 250 km/h, with the exception of the base diesel that maxes out at 230 km/h. An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is standard, as is BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The X6 uses double wishbones at the front and a five-link axle at the rear, with air suspension available as a cost option. There’s also an xOffroad package available for all variants except the M50i and M50d, which includes a bespoke drivetrain setup, specific off-road modes, off-road tyres, a rear M differential lock and the air suspension comes as standard.
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