‘Back in those days BMW basically only built cars and slow motorbikes, but now offer from SUVs, SACs and hatches with front wheel drive to silly-fast motorbikes. The bottom line is if you need premium wheels, BMW have something for you.
The all-new second generation X6 is just such a vehicle. BMW invented the Sports Activity Coupe in 2008 when the first generation car broke cover. It has taken the competition around seven years to catch up, with both Audi and Mercedes-Benz looking to enter this segment with their GLE Coupe and the yet-to-be-confirmed Q6 respectively in the near future.
Do I completely get the rationale behind the X6? Not really. If I wanted a sporty SUV I would go for an X5 and if I wanted a sporty car I would opt for a 6 Series. But perhaps right there the fans of the X6 will say: “You see, this is why we drive an X6, it gives you the best of both worlds.” And as much as I don’t get the car, I can’t argue with their logic or taste in vehicles.
However, the styling approach of the X6 is not going to leave any fence sitters – you’re either going to like it or hate it. The X6 is all new, by the way, but unless you are close to the brand or sharp when it comes to details, you won’t pick up on all that has changed. I will leave this part up to the pictures shown and for you to decide.
A similar theme follows inside, with the changes kept on a subtle level. But you do get everything your heart desires, either in standard trim or as an optional extra, from the likes of Navigation System Professional with Touch Controller, Bang & Olufsen high-end surround-sound system and new Rear Entertainment System Professional as a start.
Bi-xenon headlights, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, automatic tailgate operation and the eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission with steering wheel shift paddles are all included as standard spec, as are leather trim, two-zone climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and BMW ConnectedDrive.
With BMW ConnectedDrive, you have a wide variety of features available that includes options like BMW Head-Up Display, Driving Assist Plus, the BMW Parking Assist, Surround View and BMW Night Vision with Dynamic Light Spot and Speed Limit Info.
And if this is not enough, you then have a host of interior and exterior packages to choose from for even more individuality and choice, like the Design Pure Extravagance equipment package, the M Sport package and BMW Individual.
But, as always, the biggest plus of driving a BMW is the dynamics and power on tap, and here the X6 does not disappoint. The line-up of engines available at launch consists of the latest-generation V8 twin turbo developing 330kW for the BMW X6 xDrive50i, a 230kW six-cylinder in-line diesel engine for the BMW X6 xDrive40d and another straight-six diesel with three turbo- chargers and 280kW in the BMW X6 M50d, as well as the 225kW entry-level six-cylinder turbo petrol engine for the BMW X6 xDrive35i.
I drove the M50d first and this would be my pick as an everyday car. It has enough urge to keep you interested and more than enough torque at 740Nm to trundle along at an easy pace and conserve fuel if you so desire.
Obviously the 330kW xDrive50i was the most fun for blasting from A to B – the power and urge never seems to end.
And if this is still not enough for you, the even more powerful and dynamic X6M is due for local launch in April this year.
The X6 runs a permanently active, intelligent all-wheel-drive system BMW xDrive, which optimises traction, directional stability and cornering dynamics, as the situation requires. And again you can opt for switchable dynamics and get one of the adaptive suspension packages that are available.
Now this might sound like marketing talk, but I can confirm these chassis control systems do work – throwing the X6 around in a way that would scare many a sports car in the twisties in and around Mpumalanga was an absolute blast.
A more sure-footed, dynamic, luxury ride you will not find in this type of vehicle. So if you want one because you want one, and you have the means, go out and buy the car and stand out from the crowd.