“The Original But Still the Best”
In 2007 BMW unveiled a concept vehicle in the Frankfurt Auto Show. The following year it debuted the concept as a production vehicle at the North American International Auto Show as the X6 Coupe. What I am sure BMW, or that matter the road going public did not expect at that time, is that the X6 would spark a design shift that would infiltrate the likes of Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and even Lamborghini.
In its original format the X6 was lower, wider and longer than its X5 brother. However, it seated only 4. The 2020 iteration does not limit itself to 4 occupants but rather 5. In fact, the 2020 X6 is nearly 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider. Under the hood, the X6 M50i produces 523 bhp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That’s 53 more than the venerable X6M of the first generation and 27 less bhp.
The first X6 was met with mixed reviews from a visual standpoint, as things often are when you pioneer them. However, in its current form the X6 is edgier and sharper. The front grill is more pronounced and commanding. The looks of an X6 for whatever year you decide to buy it, is based on factors beyond normal practicality. They are based on the fact that you want to stand out. You don’t care about cargo or headroom, but, rather your car stands out at your local golf course. That unlike the plethora of standard SUV’s out there, you march to a different beat. That is exactly what the X6 does.
Now, let me get back to that powertrain. The way the X6 divvies out power is thrilling. There is no noticeable turbo lag and the V8 revs so quickly and freely you have to be prepared to address upshifts in quick order otherwise, you will bump off the revlimiter. 0 to 100km or 62 mph comes in a seriously fast 4.3 seconds. You heard me 4.3 seconds in a vehicle that weighs 2320kg or 5115lbs. Combine this with a glorious V8 roar and you understand what all the fuss is about. Well “what’s left for the X6M?” you may ask. Do not worry your pretty little head. M division has ensured that the X6M Competition will muster a healthy 625 hp and devours the 100km in 3.8 seconds.
Stepping into the interior shows what a luxury sport activity vehicle is all about. You are met with ample amounts of leather, covered soft touch surfaces and gloss carbon fiber accents. Drive train controls receive the Glass Application – which turn the shift lever and i-Drive controls into crystal works of art. Bear in mind, this is part of the $17,000.00 Premium Excellence Package. A panoramic glass roof adds a feeling of airiness to the X6 greenhouse, as the sloping roof line tends to make you feel a bit claustrophobic. Oh, that panoramic glass roof actually contains 15,000 light elements that create a unique light show at night time. The Ivory White Full Merino Leather was sublime. The seats were amply bolstered and adjustable with a meaty feeling leather wrapped M wheel. To round out the custom interior experience, the X6 offers you the ability to choose your ambient air (think scent) based on your mood.
With an as tested price of $112,500.00, all of this luxury comes at a significant cost. At this price point you are in the same realm as the Porsche Cayenne S Coupe and Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe. Granted both lack that awesome twin turbo V8 and nearly 100 horsepower, they do provide a more dynamic driving experience as compared to the X6 M50i. The X6 tackles the daily task of driving without issue. In fact, steering is sharp and precise and for the most part handling is spot on. However, that 2300 kg weight begins to show itself when pushed hard, despite the Adaptive M suspension. Will the average driver every really experience these shortcomings, likely not. If you are a driver that will, you will likely be looking to the X6M or X6M Competition which brings the full M driving experience to the forefront and likely eliminates these shortcomings. However, for us average mortals who want to have something unique, those who consider to take the less walked path, the X6 M50i is a perfect companion.