Announcing a new BMW X6 on PH is risky business. The SUV-coupe is a design that many car enthusiasts have failed to fall for, not least because it hinders one of the biggest draws of an SUV – cabin and boot space. But, with sales for BMW’s sleeker X5 sibling continuing to confirm that there are plenty who love the form, the new one is here. And, at the very least, it’s potentially one to wear those slightly awkward proportions most effectively, particularly in top-specification M50i form, where it shamelessly flaunts butchness with the swept roofline.
Like the X5 before it, the X6 M50i uses BMW’s familiar twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, producing 530hp and 553lb ft of torque, giving it the grunt to spring from zero to 62mph 4.3 seconds and hammer into a 155mph limiter. Those are some serious stats for models that aren’t full-blown M derivatives. Below the M50i in the X6 range there’s a 400hp/561lb ft M50d, as well as two non-M-fettled models, the 265hp 30d and 340hp 40i, meaning there’s plenty of muscle across the line-up.
All cars use xDrive hardware, but even though 100 per cent of the torque can be sent rearwards to reduce fuel consumption during a run, the system won’t do the same when you’re going for it. It provides a rear-bias of torque to sharpen things up, but the front always remains engaged, so no M5 drift mode here – that’d be X6 M territory. Instead, the X6 gets an electronically-controlled locking differential at the rear that focusses its attention on maximising traction, rather than anything silly.
The same is said to be true for the standard-fit dynamic damper control, or, for cars with it, the Adaptive M suspension Professional that’s partnered by active roll bars and active steering. Optional two-axle air suspension adds more comfort and flexibility into the mix, with the ride height raising by as much as 80mm if needed. For those who want to get their X6 mucky, BMW offers an xOffroad package that adds under body protection to the air suspension system.
Something tells us more X6 buyers will be after those M Sport bits, however, for which the M50i gets the most. It wears larger front air intakes up front, thicker sills and its own, more dramatic rear bumper to emphasise its pace, along with BMW's individual high-gloss Shadow Line pack and other bits of trim in Cerium Grey. Inside, you can option in carbon fibre trim while an anthracite headliner is standard, as are no shortage of M logos.
While it’s put the specs out, BMW’s not yet confirmed prices for the new X6 range. But with a healthy bump in power over the old M50i and the firm’s latest cabin tech thrown in, we’re expecting something nudging towards the £80k mark for the most PH-worthy variant – or about £25k less than the 550hp Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo.