BMW has introduced the latest, third generation edition of its X6 “sports activity coupe.” The X6, when first introduced about a decade ago, is largely responsible for starting the “SUV coupe” category, which now includes the likes of the Mercedes GLC and GLE crossover “coupes,” as well as the Audi Q8.
Car guys and gals may have laughed at the idea of a utility vehicle that tries to be sleek and stylish, but BMW has sold more than 440,000 X6s over the years (at what must be a large profit margin) and other car companies have taken notice.
The third-gen X6, based on a new platform shared with the 2019 X5 SUV, is larger and faster than the previous model and will offer a high-performance M50i version with a 523-horsepower twin-turbo V-8. An even faster X6 M model is promised, though no details have been released just yet. The 2020 X6 rides on a slightly longer (by 1.6 inches) wheelbase and is an inch longer and a half inch wider than the outgoing X6.
From the B-pillar forward, the X6 strongly resembles the X5, though it has a revised front fascia with a more angular grille that is backlit when the daytime running lights are on. The rear of the X6, however, gets a sleeker roofline and more muscular fenders than the previous X6, which looked a little bit clunky back there. Actually, it still looks a little bit odd. Thinner taillights and a dark under-car diffuser try to reduce the visual bulk of the rear end, but the overall shape of the vehicle is still reminiscent of a pear-shaped person. As successful as the X6 has been, though, it seems that consumers are more concerned with the shape of the brand's logo than of the car itself.
The interior reprises the look of platform-mate X5, with twin touchscreens on the dashboard. The standard panoramic roof is almost twice the size of that on the outgoing X6, and an illuminated Sky Lounge glass roof is optional. With the longer wheelbase, cargo space has been increased to 59.6 cubic feet when the 40/20/40 split rear bench seat is folded.
The base sDrive40i model, equipped with BMW's 335-hp 3.0-liter inline-six, does not come with all-wheel drive, but then, just how many “sport activity coupes” actually go off-road? The X6 range is topped by the X6 M50i, with the aforementioned twin-turbo V-8. BMW is claiming a 4.1-second 0–60 time for the M50i, while all X6 models have top speeds electronically limited to 155 mph when fitted with performance summer tires (130 on all-seasons).
Standard equipment on all X6 models includes LED headlights, automatic climate control, heated front seats, adaptive shock absorbers, LED headlights, and 20-inch wheels. Standard driver assist features include blind-spot and lane-departure warning, rear and front collision warning, pedestrian warning with city collision mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, and speed limit information.
The Driving Assistance Professional Package is optional and includes camera and radar-based Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. It can maintain the desired speed up to 130 mph while keeping to a selected distance from vehicles up ahead, automatically brake to a stop if needed, and then pull away automatically when traffic permits.
Other options include 22-inch wheels, a Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, massaging seats, and a head-up display, along with more advanced driver assist and active safety systems.
The new X6 will be assembled at BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina facility, with deliveries scheduled to begin late this year. Base price for the X6 sDrive40i will be $65,295 (including destination), the X6 xDrive40i with AWD will start at $67,595, and the X6 M50i begins at $84,645. That's $7350 more than the outgoing 2019 xDrive50i, but then, the new M50i has about 20 percent more power.
As long as people keep buying these things, luxury automakers will keep selling them.