It's a car that a not insignificant number of BMW owners are likely to buy, and it's finally in its third generation. Following the global debut of the G05 X5 last year, it wa only a matter of time before the G06 X6 would follow. This all-new model is longer and wider than before - by 26 mm and 15 mm respectively - and features the first of its kind on a BMW model: an illuminated front grille. It's a rather unique styling cue, and it seems to be an optional feature.
The wheelbase has also grown by 42 mm, which is a fairly significant improvement in terms of packaging and interior room - especially as the X6 doesn't have to be able to take a third row of seats like its more conventional X5 sibling. The front end is a little sportier and a little more angular as well, highlighting the less utilitarian nature of this sport activity coupe. Even the rear end takes a sharper departure from generations past, looking more like those off an 8 Series than any of the current SUV models in the BMW range.
Apart from the coveted M Performance and full on M models, the X6 will be made available with either xLine or M Sport trim options. These are similar to the X5 in the sense that the former offers more off-road oriented styling and reinforcement, while the latter optimizes the car for hurtling along well paved roads. Similarly, the M Sport models receive adaptive sport suspension and blue M Sport brakes.
Two axle air suspension is also available as an option, although you can expect it to be a pricey one. Ticking the xOffroad package adds the offroad modes that you get with the X5, although the number of customers who would take an X6 offroad would be decidedly lower than those who would go offroad in their X5.
Engines are pretty standard fare at launch: four options, two petrol and two diesel. Naturally the petrol options are the ones we're most likely to get, and buyers will have a choice of the xDrive40i or the M50i. The former is powered by the same 335 hp, 450 Nm, 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-6 found in the X5 xDrive40i, while the M50i gets a larger 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 pushing 523 hp and 750 Nm of torque. The M50i also gets a limited-slip rear differential as standard.
On the inside, things look largely the same as the X5 as well, although some of the details are a little more upmarket to appeal to a slightly different demographic - much in the same way a 3 Series and a 4 Series Gran Coupe are similar in function, but vastly different in execution. In terms of functionality and operation, however, the X6 would be identical to the X5 - and this isn't a bad thing.
And finally, there's the driving aids - a hot topic for pretty much every car launched these days. Depending on which boxes are ticked, the X6 can function as a self-parking, semi autonomous machine and even backtrack through tough spots based on your last inputs before turning off the car. Even the most driver-focused automakers are bowing to the demand for autonomous technologies - they're just packaging it differently with things like adaptive cruise control and lane departure alert working hand in hand.
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