Not everyone was able to place the BMW X6 in their heads when it came out in 2008. It sat above the then flagship X5 but had all the ingredients of a performance car. It had the butch appearance of an SUV but pampered occupants as much as any of BMW’s sedans. Over the years though the coupe-SUV segment that the X6 created has carved out its own niche and BMW has sold close to 4.5 lakh units of the X6 globally! Just a few months back we’ve had the Audi Q8 and Porsche Cayenne Coupe grace our shores as well and we now have the all-new, second-generation X6 here – clearly, luxury coupé-SUVs are here to stay.
First things first, the new X6 is on offer with just one engine and gearbox option. There are two variants on offer, the xLine and M Sport and both retail at Rs 95 lakh (ex-showroom). Under the hood sits a 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor offering 335bhp and 450Nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels courtesy BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Of course, being a generation change this one is all-new, inside-out, in terms of design and technology both and is also wider and longer than its predecessor. There’s a lot to like about it, like the stunning shade of blue you see here. But before that, let’s take a look at its design.
A distinct highlight at the front has to be the optional illuminated kidney grille. It lights up either as a welcome/goodbye gesture or it can stay on while your lights are on. Cool, eh? Actually very cool. That’s not the only trick the new X6’s grille has up its sleeve though. The fins on the grille can open and close, depending on the amount of heat generated by the engine!
I have to mention BMW’s laser headlights here as well, for they look simply brilliant with their blue filaments. And interestingly while many haven’t really liked the larger BMW grilles, I have to say the large grille compliments the face of the new X6 rather well, especially in conjunction with the new headlamp design. The new fog lamps also look very nice, a lot better than the round ones on the previous X6. In keeping with the new mug, the bumper and hood are both more muscular now as well.
Move to the sides and you are sure to appreciate the roofline sloping backwards, a trend the X6 started almost a decade and halfback. Then there are the 21-inch wheels add to the sporty stance, shod with fat, 265-section tyres. That said, it’s the rear that is the business end of the new X6. The sloping roof merges neatly into the beautifully designed tail lights below which a plethora of creases finally end with the large, chrome-tipped dual exhausts. As I mentioned above, the ‘Tanzanite Blue’ paint scheme makes the X6 looks even more stunning. A testament to that was the attention the X6 was getting on the road. At 580 litres the boot volume is a tad bit lower than the X5’s, but with a stunning derriere like the X6’s would you really care about a bit of boot space?
The interior theme is pretty much in line with most new generation BMWs and as you would expect, there’s an air of classiness inside. The 12.3-inch infotainment system and 7-inch digital instrument cluster tie-in beautifully with the slick AC vents and tactile buttons. The drive selector lever is surrounded by an array of controls for the infotainment system and drive controls and overall the centre console adds to the cabin’s classy feel. Resolution of the touchscreen is crisp, while the 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, panoramic sunroof and mood lighting together work up a charm on an evening drive, as I discovered.
To add to the ambience, the X6 comes equipped with heated/cooled cupholders, wireless charging, BMW Gesture Control, a head-up display and a lot more. Equipment and quality levels inside the X6 are thus top-notch – expect BMW to know the art of putting together some of the most lavish cabins and lest you forget, the X6 sits just under the X7!
Then there’s the driving experience. As I found out, the X6 is more than willing to quell any doubts about its performance and dynamics despite its gargantuan size. The 3.0-litre inline-six is good for a claimed 0-100kmph time of just 5.5 seconds which is more than just ‘quick’ for its size and heft. Heck, there’s launch control as well! Turbo lag is pretty much non-existent so the power delivery is extremely linear, which means you’ll find yourself tightening your grip on the steering wheel rather often.
More so, since 450Nm is available just 1,500rpm onwards. Select Sport mode and responses all round get sharper – the steering, dampers and of course the throttle and admittedly, the difference between Comfort and Sport modes is more than just noticeable! The dual exhausts let out a few more decibels as well, though the weighted feel of the steering wheel does have a hint of artificial heft to it.
Top whack is limited electronically to 250kmph, which of course is easily attainable. In fact, the X6’s poise and surefooted feel at high speeds courtesy its adaptive two-axle air suspension can goad you into going faster than you should. Another reason behind this is the eight-speed automatic transmission that’s quick to swap ratios. Given its dimensions, the X6 isn’t really a corner carver though it feels utterly planted and allows carrying some serious speeds around bends.
Still confused as to where you should place the X6, especially given how good the new generation X5 and X7 are? The coupé-SUV segment is one that’s considered with your heart though. Some cars don’t really need a reason – they’re more of an indulgence and the new X6 is one of them. It’s a machine you want in your garage for that stance and the design, particularly with that beautifully sloping roofline. And of course, the fact that it’s a BMW. The X6 is meant to tug at your heartstrings and it does.
Engine: 2993cc, In-line, six-cylinder
Transmission: Eight-speed Steptronic
Price: ₹95 lakh (ex-showroom)
Photography – Jassi Singh