BMW has unveiled the latest edition of the model that lit the fuse for the Sports Activity Coupé (SAC); blending the agile and versatile driving properties of a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with the head-turning looks of a coupé. The third-generation X6, according to BMW, employs a clean, exclusive design language to underscore its confident appearance.
The new X6 has grown by 26 mm in length over the outgoing model, to 4,935 mm, and by 15 mm in width, to 2,004 mm. It now stands 6 mm lower, at 1,696 mm, and has its wheelbase increased by 42 mm to 2,975 mm, combining stretched proportions with visual muscularity. As its bigger siblings, the X6 now also sports a large, striking, single-frame BMW kidney grille.
The outer edges of the grille now approach the headlights at a clearly defined angle and grille illumination is now available for the first time on the X6, adding an exclusive flourish to the exterior design. The illumination is activated by opening or closing the car and is also available while driving. It can also be switched on and off manually.
The flanks of the new X6 are defined by crisp character lines and a dynamic fastback roofline but the personal taste will dictate whether you approve of its swooping lines, or not. The X6 has 19-inch alloy wheels fitted as standard, with variants ranging from 20- to 22 inches in size available as options. The X6 M50i and M50d come with 21-inch wheels as standard.
Available from launch in xLine- and M Sport-model variants, the two equipment lines each have their own distinctive design cues. The interior with clear structures and a sporty appearance is geared to delivering an exclusive and dynamic driving experience, and Vernasca leather upholstery is standard.
The 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests can be folded down to increase boot capacity from 580 to 1,530 ℓ and highlight equipment options include multifunction seats, four-zone automatic climate control, thermoelectric cup holders, glass applications for selected controls, the Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge, an ambient air fragrance package, and a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond+ 3D Surround Sound System.
The engine line-up consists of two petrol units and a pair of diesel variants from launch but only the X6 M50i and X6 M50d will be offered in South Africa from November this year. The M50i will be available with a newly developed V8 petrol engine delivering 390 kW while the M50d comes with a 294 kW six-cylinder in‑line diesel engine with a quartet of turbochargers – as used in the X5 range.
The M-models have the M-Sport exhaust system, giving it an unmistakable and emotionally rich aural presence, fitted as standard and the engines are coupled with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, intelligent all-wheel-drive xDrive system aided by an electronically controlled M-diff lock and Adaptive M-suspension. The xDrive system also maintains a rear-wheel bias in particularly dynamic driving situations. Expect prices of around R1,6 million for the M50i and R1,7 for the M50d when they arrive here at the end of the year.
Text: Paul van Gass | Images: BMW AG