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BMW unveils third take on X6 formula. Image by BMW.

BMW unveils third take on X6 formula
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2020-02-28: First drive: BMW X6 M Competition

What's all this about?

We've got an all-new BMW X6, based - as it ever is - on the current-generation X5. It'll be built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the home of all X BMWs bar the X1 and X2, and it will go on sale in November following its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Can we talk about the styling?

No, we cannot. You can look at the pictures and make up your own mind about it. You have eyes, don't you?

Come on; surely you have an opinion on how it looks?


Can you at least give me some factual details on it, then?

Sure. It is bigger than the X6 Mk2: length is up 26mm to 4,935mm total, width +15mm to 2,004mm, wheelbase +42mm to 2,975mm and front track +44mm to 1,684mm total, although it is marginally lower than its forebear, sitting 6mm closer to the deck with an overall height of 1,696mm. At the back is a 580-litre boot, which rises to 1,525 litres if you fold the 40:20:40 split backrests down, and up front is a massive, illuminated one-piece kidney grille.

Hold the phones - ILLUMINATED kidney grille?!

Yep, the X6 debuts this dubious feature. Lock or unlock the SUV and the grille glows, while the driver can switch it on or off manually as well. Not sure if this can be used when the X6 is in motion, but there you are. Much of the high-end tech that has been seen on the X5 - such as LED/laser lights, interior toys, digital interfaces, driver assist systems and luxury items like a giant panoramic roof (83 per cent more clear glass than an X6 Mk2, apparently) or heated/cooled cupholders - will be offered either as standard or as options on the X6.

What's under the bonnet?

Four engines, all pretty punchy. The xDrive30d (265hp/620Nm) is a 3.0-litre turbodiesel six, capable of 143mph flat out and a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds, all while returning up to 46.3mpg with just 159g/km of CO2. All the rest of the X6s are electronically limited to 155mph because they're so powerful, so choose from the xDrive40i, a 3.0-litre six-pot petrol with 340hp, 450Nm, 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, 35.3mpg and 181g/km CO2; or one of the two M Performance models, the first being the quad-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel M50d - 400hp, 760Nm, 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, 40.9mpg and 181g/km; or there's the flagship M50i, a 4.4-litre biturbo V8 petrol with 530hp, 750Nm, 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, 27.2mpg and 237g/km.

What else is there about the X6's technical make-up?

All models are fitted with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox and xDrive AWD with a rear bias. In fact, they'll run in rear-wheel drive alone if needs be, although don't get excited - this is not some bizarre drift mode for the X6, but rather a fuel-saving measure. All engines are EU6d-TEMP emissions-compliant, the M Performance models get an M Sport exhaust system as standard that will be an option on regular X6s or part of the M Sport trim specification on the 30d and 40i twins, while Dynamic Damper Control is fitted across the board. Options will include twin-axle, self-levelling air suspension, active anti-roll stabilisation, four-wheel Integral Active Steering and an xOffroad Package. Can't see that last one selling too well, ourselves, if we're honest.

And so you'll close with a word on the looks?


Matt Robinson - 2 Jul 2019

2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.

2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.2020 BMW X6. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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