… with your X

17 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on … with your X
First Drive | Road Georgia, USA | BMW X6 M |

At the launch of the BMW M3. almost two ago to the day, I asked Gerhard the then head of development at M Division, if BMW was ever going to the M brand as Mercedes had done AMG. His answer was unequivocal: he thundered, M cars need to be drive, normally-aspirated, sporty I sighed in relief: M Division was

But here we are, some two and one global recession later, an car that’s just about BMW said it would never – an all-wheel drive SUV an automatic transmission powered by a engine based around a V8 block.

Needless to say Herr is gone; he has been promoted to of development for the new 5 Series Gran – while his replacement, Biermann, steers M division in a more pragmatic direction. And who can BMW for cashing in a little M equity? has slapped an AMG badge on just everything it makes, so why can’t BMW its M cars a little less a little more profitable?

are tough, after all, and all else, M Division has to make to survive. But an X6 M? Is that really the world needs right

In the Metal

Mock the silliness of the X6 all you but BMW’s unfortunately titled Activity Coupй or SAC, has a runaway success for the company, them to triple output to demand. Because it’s an aggressive and muscular car to begin BMW hasn’t had to change that of the X6 to transform it into the X6 M, which is news for a company trying to as much profit as it can from its model.

The X6 M shares most of its metal with the standard X6, the bonnet, doors, rear boot lid and roof, although it get new front wings incorporating cooling gills, new 20-inch wheels and new side skirts. back there’s a new bumper, spoiler and two dual exhaust and that’s about it, really. You can about getting a carbon re-enforced plastic roof here; cutting a few kilograms a two-tonne car is a bit like ordering Coke with your Quarter-Pounder meal.

Meanwhile, the of the X6M is no more bespoke than the The seats get a tiny bit more bolstering, but otherwise they’re the as the stock X6’s. while the of an M button on the steering wheel, a of aluminium pedals, the M5’s display and dials, some and red stitching here and there, a smattering of M badges completes the X6 interior revisions. Feeling a underwhelmed so far? So was I.

What you get for your Money

to the Ј90,000 Porsche Cayenne S, which offers almost performance figures to the ballistic X6 M, the Ј77,425 price tag doesn’t like bad value at all. by a 547bhp, 501lb.ft, twin-turbo V8, the X6 M can reach 62mph in just 4.7 and top 171mph if you opt for the Autobahn-oriented M Driver’s which means it’s much toe-to-toe with the 4.8-second 0-62mph time and top speed.

However, for around you can opt for either the Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG or the non-S Turbo, neither of which are as fast as the X6 M, perhaps, but they exactly slouches either, capable of hitting 62mph in 5.0 and 5.1 and topping 155mph (limited) and respectively. In terms of overall then, the BMW X6 M seems to be the class Standard specification is generous, with 20-inch alloys, dampers, leather upholstery, sensors, electric sport and satnav all standard.

Driving it

You do have to marvel at the technical that allows a 2,380kg go, stop and corner like X6 M does. The suspension is fitted stiffer bushings, bearings and mounts while the standard air springing and damping is set up more

Adaptive shocks, with an anti-roll system, as well as rear suspension, are also and the power steering has been although a variable-ratio steering is not available because it apparently in keeping with the M philosophy. 395mm discs and four-piston callipers are fitted to the front with 385mm discs and callipers at the rear.

The X6 M is also the M car to get a six-speed automatic transmission, the gearshift times are faster and in ‘M’ mode there is no up-shifting at the rev limiter. Steering-wheel paddle shifters and ‘Launch are standard, as is a computer-controlled multi-plate differential. BMW’s re-tuned Performance Control rear completes the dynamic revisions, maximum traction by accelerating the with the most grip than braking or cutting to the slipping wheel.

Perhaps then, the X6 M is a staggeringly competent, but soulless thing to drive on the The engine, a heavily modified unit, remember, makes a and characterless noise and while propulsion is impressive, it’s not expletive-inducing. The transmission left us as cold: it shifts quickly and but it’s not the most responsive in the world and yanking on the steering-wheel doesn’t speed things up

The ride quality is impressive particularly when you consider riding on 20-inch wheels, but not too much feel up through the and while the steering is sharp and for an off-roader, it’s unlikely to you goose-bumps. Grip, as you’d is abundant and the X6 M’s brakes are powerful and while there’s a amount of steering and brake too, ultimately any kicks you get driving the X6 M are derived from the that you’re bending the of physics in a two-and-a-half-tonne SUV rather from pure driving as you find in other M cars.


said that, there is a pleasure to be derived from the X6 M around a racetrack that is to ignore. You may not be feeling every of asphalt with your hairs but you’re still like a buffoon simply the whole experience is so utterly The X6 M has seriously benign on-limit characteristics that fill you confidence and allow you to … the with alarming vigour.

as importantly, it’s also robust; we drove our X6 M from the of Atlanta to the punishing and technical Atlanta race circuit, the socks off it (without even the tyre pressure) until it ran out of fuel and then turned it (once someone from BMW re-filled the 85-litre tank) and back in it without so much as a of complaint from the tyres, engine or transmission. It shrugged off as if it wasn’t even there and slowed down from to 55mph on a short, steep, section of track without all afternoon. Sadly, few owners ever experience just how the X6 M truly is and will only the car’s rather uninspiring characteristics.

Worth Noting

The X6 M’s V8 block is stock, but the cylinder pistons and con-rods are all new, the turbos and catalytic converters to mention the coolant reservoir) are in the V between the cylinder banks and an single exhaust manifold is to ensure throttle responsiveness and at every engine speed. A exhaust flap also the exhaust note in M-mode.

weighing 2.4 tonnes, the X6 M can reach in a staggering 4.7 seconds and top 155mph that’s precisely as fast as the BMW M5 and M3, which weigh a whopping and 700kg less respectively. fitting brake energy an on-demand electric fuel and a de-coupling air conditioning compressor to efficiency, the X6 M’s combined-cycle consumption figure of 20.3mpg and a CO 2 of 325g/km means you’ll to live in freezing darkness and eat clippings to offset your footprint.


Sure, the X6 M is silly and but if we’re completely honest ourselves, what performance car makes sense? The X6 M is an astonishing of engineering, no question, and while no M3 on the road the X6 M is a bit of riot on the racetrack more so than many cars you’d expect to on the track. Alright, I will that very few people are going to use an X6 M that way, but not like anyone takes off-roaders across the Serengeti now do they?

Purists will at the X6 M for besmirching the reputation of BMW’s M Division, but they should in mind that high-profit like the X6 M help fund the we really want to drive, the M3 CSL that was canned when the hit.

In addition, the willingness of M to modify stock engines and also increases the likelihood of like an M-version of the 1 Series making it to production, so while the X6 M on the of it seems like the antithesis of BMW’s performance division stood for, it could be the key to the M’s continued long-term

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