Some time ago I wrote about the new BMW X6-M that I had an opportunity to check out. What I was not allowed to do until now however, was show the pictures I have taken that day and write about the very brief ride I had in the vehicle.
By now you have probably heard all about the X6, a four-door hatch back SUV coupe thing. Love it or hate it, it’s one of those vehicles that I appreciate just for being here; a 4-passenger, decent trunk (enough to swallow up a mountain bike inside), great handling and decent power.
Soon, BMW will try to sell you the M version of the X6 (and a similar X5). It takes all that already is an X6 and turns it up to eleven. As mentioned in the original article, these are first AWD models from the M Division, and the first… uhmm… let’s just call them SUVs.
I was taken for a quick ride, and I mean a really quick ride. The M gets off the line quickly and the acceleration feel is much like that of an M5; you know you’re moving quickly, but you know you have a lot of weight with you. It does have launch control (part of the M-mode driving thing) but it was not used as this vehicle had less than the 1500 miles traveled required before its use. Regardless, with AWD it jumped off line without much drama. The shift from first to second gear wasn’t the smoothest but it was fairly quick for an automatic transmission. Brakes seemed to do their job, the car stopped. That’s all I got on that, sorry. I’ll try to get a test drive next time.
In life, the X6-M looks much more menacing, especially in the front which looks down-right angry.Otherwise, it’s pretty much an X6 with typical M-cues such as side vents, side-skirts, dual-twin-pipe exhaust, and shadowline trim. As you can see in pics all badges were taped up, so that no one would know what kind of vehicle it is. Right. I have seen that done before and I can’t figure out why manufacturers even bother.
Interior receives all modern M stuff; multi-function seats with active adjustments (they hug in corners, see E60 M5), brushed trim, M-logos on the tach, M-color stitching, thick steering wheel with M-mode button. The shifter is the same annoying one as in the current 5-series and X5 with steering wheel paddles for manual shifting. The M gets the newer version of iDrive (has more buttons) for 2010, which was introduced on the 3 and 5 series for 2009 but is noticeably absent from 2009 X5/X6. This model happened to be just about fully loaded, including rear seat entertainment. New to the X6 was an Infiniti-like surround view of the car which helps with backing up.
I believe that the target market for the X6-M is an under-40 single person, obviously one with higher-than-average salary. Likely being a city slicker, or at least living near a city, that guy or gal wants one vehicle that does it all:
- Makes a visual statement (whatever that maybe)
- Has room for a bikes, skis, golf clubs
- Room for four people and their bags for a weekend getaway in the Hamptons
- Prestige/name plate (bling)
- Excellent performance, while being easy to drive
- All-weather drive-ability (don’t want to mess with winter tires)
- Latest gadgets inside, we wouldn’t want our iPhone not syncing with our car music system now, would we?
The vehicle would also work for a young family with one kid, any more than that and I would consider getting the bigger X5-M which seats five and have a more usable trunk. While not being best at one specific thing, these two vehicles offer a small performance compromise while being big on family utility.
For more information on the X6-M, please the related article on the X6-M, which goes into technical details.