X6 gets the diesel ‘M’ treatment

editorial image

I’ve always liked the X6, perhaps more so than the X5, despite its looks and footballer’s run-around image. I don’t care, the BMW is a great-looking car and i’m a big fan of it par se. I’ve driven the 3.0-litre diesel version, and was keen to try the 4.0-litre version, but a phone call to the press office and before long the all-new triple-turbo XDrive M50d was on its way to me.

Yes, that’s right a 5.0-litre version. Gulp. This sounds rude for the road.

The X6 was deemed by BMW as their new ‘sports activity coupe’ but many sceptics just thought it wouldn’t sell – despite what BMW had said. And I’m pleased to tell you, they were wrong. They have sold really well, selling well over 155,000 cars in just over three years which is exceedingly good.

Back to this model then, it stirs 381 horsepower, propelling it onto a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour, with 60 taking just 5.2 seconds; and with a torque figure of 740Nm at low, low revs it just simply demolishes anything in its path. The way the car accelerates is just hard to describe, and the mid-overtaking urge is one of the strongest I’ve ever encountered.

And yet it remains purposefully quiet, with little wind noise and very limited tyre roar, despite the rubber being monumentally wide.

It has four wheel drive of course, and an innovative Dynamic Performance Control set-up that is amazing in its concept. What happens, in effect is that if you go into a corner to fast it sends power to the outer wheels to push you around the corner instead of the conventional ESP systems that do the opposite – brake the inner wheels to stop you getting out of shape. Very clever it is to, and is a smoother, quicker way of seeing you exit a bend in the X6. I would probably go for the adaptive steering system and the adaptive drive too as they would interact with each other nicely; but these are not standard options, unlike the DPC.

The styling cues have had a subtle makeover here, it has a broader front kidney grille along with repositioned front fog lights further accentuating the wide stance it has, and with the option of having LED technology in the front lenses should you have the adaptive front headlamps.

New, squarer exhaust pipes and the ‘M’ 50d at the rear reaffirms this is no car to mess with, no sir.

On the inside, it’s luxury all the way in here and you may think you may be compromised in the rear with that tailing roofline but you’d be wrong – four, large comfortable seats are standard but should you wish, BMW will fit a rear bench so three can be accommodated with plenty of knee, leg and elbow room.

Standard kit is to large to reel off here, its perhaps a mark of a car that costs a cool £63,000 – more than £15,000 than the ‘standard’ entry-level X6.

But what a car – it has high residual value, it offers luxury travel for all, is super quick and smooth and promises fuel returns around the 37 miles to the gallon mark. Even the emissions are just 204g/km, a quite remarkable figure given the nature of the beast. And beast really sums it up – forget your Porsche’s and Ferrari’s everyone, this is the car I’ll be driving if my lottery numbers come up.

Nick Jones