The new BMW X6 is the second-generation model of the coupé-like SUV that pioneered a new and lucrative market niche when it was launched in 2008. Set to make its public debut at the Moscow motor show in August, the second-gen X6 is the latest in a long line of new BMW models revealed in recent months.
Despite a slow start in the midst of a global financial downturn, the first-gen X6 proved highly successful. BMW claims global sales of more than 2,50,000; that’s an annual average of over 40,000 units throughout its six-year production cycle. The second-gen BMW X6 has been comprehensively re-engineered in a joint development programme with the recently introduced third-gen X5, alongside which it will be produced at BMW’s US factory in South Carolina.
The styling of the new SUV has been progressed using an evolutionary approach that retains a similar silhouette to its predecessor’s but with even bolder detailing at the front and rear. The body of the new SUV receives a more structured look than its predecessor, with subtle nods to the smaller and more affordable X4.
At 4909mm in length, 1989mm in width and 1702mm in height, the new BMW X6 is 34mm longer, 4mm wider and 12mm higher than the outgoing car. The wheelbase has been reduced by 2mm, to 1933mm. In its lightest xDrive30d guise, the new X6 weighs in at 2065kg. This is 10kg less than the old model, despite more equipment.
Inside, the latest X6 receives a restyled dashboard, more heavily contoured seats and luxurious trims – much of which are shared with the X5. Load space has increased, but only modestly. At 580 litres, there's 10 litres more luggage capacity with its newly configured 40/20/40 rear seats in place.
BMW has revealed three launch engines for the new X6 – one petrol and two diesels. All engines are mated to a standard-fit eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system, which can be enhanced with a Dynamic Performance Control option that adds an electronically controlled torque vectoring function for added traction.
Crowning the line-up at the launch will be the xDrive50i, which runs a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine. It produces 443bhp and 66.3kgm of torque, up by 42bhp and 5.1kgm compared to its predecessor. It is claimed to dispatch the 0-100kph sprint 0.6sec quicker than its forbearer, at 4.8sec. Among the initial pair of diesels being made available for the X6 is BMW’s widely used turbocharged 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder engine. It produces 254bhp and 57.1kgm in the X6 xDrive30d. It is good for 0-100kph in 6.7sec and a combined economy of 16.7kpl. Rounding off the launch line-up is the X6 M50d, which receives the same tri-turbocharged 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel as its predecessor, with 376bhp and a stout 75.4kgm of torque. It is now capable of 0-100kph in 5.2sec, BMW claims, and top speed is limited at 250kph. BMW plans to add successors to the xDrive35i and xDrive40d to the new X6 line-up.
BMW is already talking up the dynamic properties of the new X6, suggesting that it improves on the already impressive on-road traits of its predecessor. It is underpinned by a newly developed aluminium-intensive chassis that features a combination of double wishbones up front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. A reduction in unsprung masses is claimed by BMW to provide added agility and improved response.