Wednesday, 19 December 2007

New BMW X6 goes into production

You are looking at BMW’s Sports Activity Coupe, a seemingly new class of vehicle from the performance-oriented folks at Munich. Acronymed as SAC, supposedly sportier and more coupe-esque than the regular X5 (SAV, Sports Activity Vehicle) – on which it is based, the new X6 will be considerably quicker too. Being a modern BMW (think: 335i), the new X6 comes with a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines, all turbocharged, three of 'em with twin blowers!

Turbodiesel variants starts with the X6 xDrive30d, fitted with BMW’s 3.0L turbocharged straight six diesel engine that punches out a maximum 232hp at 4000 rpm and wrenches a maximum torque of 520Nm, peaking constantly between 2000 and 2750 rpm. This ‘mildest’ form of an X6 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.0secs, and marches on to a maximum velocity of 210 km/h.

Next, there’s the X6 xDrive35d, which is equipped with a 3.0L twin-turbo in-line six diesel churning out 282hp at 4400 rpm and a maximum torque of 550 Nm maintained between 1750 and 2250 rpm. This oil burner of an X6 accelerates from 0 to100 km/h in 6.9secs, on the way to a top whack of 236 km/h.

Petrol engine options include the highly renowned and award-winning 3.0L twin-turbo IL6 for the X6 xDrive35i, that pushes out 306bhp, available consistently between 5800 and 6250 rpm, with maximum torque of 400 Nm on tap from just 1300rpm, all the way to 5000 rpm. The X6 xDrive35i zips from 0-100 km/h in 6.7seconds with a Vmax of 240 km/h.

The chunky and tall top-of-the-line X6 xDrive50i will be as rapid on the go as the 335i Coupe, doing 5.4 seconds to the century and maxing out to an electronically limited 250km/h. It is propelled by a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 pushing out 407bhp at 5500 - 6400rpm, along with 600Nm of peak torque that stays accessible from 1800 to 4500rpm.

All X6s come with a six-speed automatic gearbox (with steering gear paddles) transferring power to the tarmac via BMW’s xDrive (AWD). The dynamic four-wheel drive system allows variable distribution of torque not just between the front and rear axles, but also between rear wheels.

Combined with BMW's Adaptive Drive - which provides active body roll control and damper adjustment - and a host of other electronic driving aids like DSC/DTC, EDC (blah! blah! blah!), the X6 should drive very much like any high performance coupe or sedans from the blue propeller marque.

However, For Wheels can’t help but ask where does the X6 fit in it all, with the M5, X5 and maybe even the M6. It is rumoured to cost in the region (sometime next year in Malaysia) of RM800k for the top-gun X6 4.4L with twin turbo, so wouldn’t you rather have that full-bodied M5? Or perhaps go for that upcoming Porsche Cayenne GTS?

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