2015 BMW X6: Rated X

011_BMW_X6_xDrive_M50dIt’s absolutely fascinating that BMW’s new X6 can waddle in water while replicating the doggie paddle then shake itself off and rip around racetracks like a Greyhound. Plus, on any given day it becomes a domesticated Sport Activity Coupe joyfully escorting owners to produce stores, fashion departments and jewelry shops in comfort and style. Designed for those looking for a bit of utility and added performance in their lifestyle, the 2015 X6’s semblance is as impressionable to newfangled aficionados as Sunday is to football fans. Let’s take a deeper dive.

Entering the scene in 2008, the X6 is defined by BMW as a Sport Activity Coupe (SAC) supported by 260,000 proud owners worldwide since inception. The United States, China and Europe represent the strongest market demands for the SAC. Its mystic character and allure at first seemed temporary but a fleeting moment was never a consideration for the executives at BMW. Joined by the X3, X4 and X5, the X6 is unadulterated at best. Especially when you enhance it with the M Sport Package or an M model specifically. Imagine all four wheels gripping, gaining traction and hyper accelerating behind BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive platform. It goes without saying that your BMW will offer luxurious amenities and top-end performance alike.

2_BMW_X6_xDrive_M50dTo understand the technological updates and advancements in the 2nd generation X6 Automotive Rhythms headed to Spartanburg, SC for a tour of BMW’s Plant Spartanburg to watch Bimmers come to life and spend a day at the BMW Performance Center. Standard attributes include bi-xenon headlights, 19” light-alloy rims, an auto tailgate and BMW’s 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission paired with steering wheel mounted shift paddles. But this is just a fragment of the dynamic equation for the agile 5-seater. Power is established by way of the prodigious 4.4-liter V8 in the X6 xDrive50i with a 10% increase in power to 450 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Remarkably, BMW has also reduced fuel consumption by a staggering 22% through the use of TwinPower Turbo technology, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and fuel injection. In the spring of 2015 the X6 xDrive35i and its 6-cylinder in-line engine with 306 horsepower will arrive on stage.

During an energetic driving experience on the track portion of the BMW Performance Center the ultimate driving machine performed admirably through technical demonstrations inclusive of cornering at optimal slip, braking, skidding, drifting and runway accelerations. The team ran around the course for half the morning as if we were driving M4s opposed to AWD X models. Going from 0 mph to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds is pretty special for a utility vehicle. More importantly, body roll was minimal throughout the slalom demonstrations.

After a few speed drills BMW driving instructors escorted us to an off-road course to validate the SAC’s retuned and multifaceted suspension and ConnectedDrive’s corresponding, visual feedback. With better situational awareness (shares DNA with the X5) the X6 SAC was able to climb steep hills, balance itself on two and three wheels, sidestep rocks, bend around inclines while tilted and navigate through water. Moreover, the cameras mounted on the front fascia of the X6 show exactly what your vehicle sees on the iDrive Control Display, in this case a water-filled trench. The software also displays your BMW’s position and torque distribution when traversing beaten paths. Customizable settings allow the driver to actuate various drive modes in either COMFORT, SPORT or SPORT+. There is also an ECO PRO setting for efficient driving. Now, the typical X6 owner is not going to use his/her vehicle for survival tactics, but it sure does bring a piece of mind knowing it can escape from the wild if need be. Ask the New England Patriot’s Kyle Arrington if he’s going to take his X6 “Good Will Hunting” and he’ll smile back with an emphatic and certain “No!”

404_BMW_X6_xDrive_OffroadA coupe-like roofline, rounded headlights with the trademark corona rings, large kidney grilles, a sharp rear character line, four front air intakes and curtains to guide air around the side of the vehicle are large aspects of the X6’s design theme. Though, you’d be hard pressed trying to differentiate the subtle changes in the new model from the outgoing model unless you’re a Bimmer fanatic. Inside it’s surprisingly cavernous for passengers and storage items. A 40/20/40 split second row bench opens up the space. Premium materials include Pearl Gloss Chrome, Brushed Aluminum and American Oak fine wood and tech savvy comfort features like the Bang & Olufsen high-end surround-sound system, BMW Parking Assistant, BMW Head-Up Display, BMW Night Vision, BMW Park Assist, Surround View system and much more. BMW was ahead of the times when they introduced iDrive to the marketplace. Today it is the best multi-media and infotainment interface in the business and you will see that many auto brands have replicated their circular controller.

Not to be outdone, BMW M Performance models add further flare to your ride. Intended for customers with heavy demands without sacrificing everyday comfort, over 17,961 units have been sold in 2014 to date. With eight M Sport models on the roster BMW instills these chariots with agility, precision and emotion. Keep in mind, you didn’t come here to watch a Disney flick, this movie is rated X!

Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins