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Offline AshSimmonds

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New BMW X6 creates a new 4WD-coupe niche – and the German car maker says the vehicle’s handling will attract drivers of even the world’s most famous sports car, the Porsche 911.

BMW is aiming to lure sports car drivers into their traditional on-road nemesis, the 4WD, with its new X6 coupe off-roader.

The X6 is based on the underpinnings of the German car maker’s X5 but is designed to handle more like a sports car than a luxury 4WD.

The vehicle BMW says is the world’s first 4WD coupe – despite the presence of four doors - launches locally on August 11 to take on a varied range of rivals.

BMW says the X6 is targeted not only at buyers considering a sporty 4WD but also owners of sports cars such as the Porsche 911.

“The X6 is aimed at people who like the driving experience of a sports car but need more space than what’s offered in a sports car,” says BMW Australia spokesman Toni Andreevski.

“The X6 is for owners after they’ve experienced these cars like a [Porsche] 911 or a [BMW] 6 Series.

“They don’t want to own a boring, boxy Toorak Tractor. [And] the X6 is the most powerful non-M BMW product we have but it comes with more practicality.”

The X6 is certainly not focused on family-friendly usability. It’s bigger (23mm longer) and wider (by 50mm) than an X5 but the X6’s signature, dramatically sloping rear roofline cuts into both rear headroom and cargo space. It also only offers four seats compared with up to seven seats for the X5.

The X6’s cargo capacity is inferior to the X5’s whether the seats are in place (570 litres v 620) or folded down (1450 litres v 1750), though the new BMW offers significantly more space than the typical sports car.

The X6 will also take its place as the halo vehicle for BMW’s 4WD range with higher price tags and more powerful engines than the equivalent X5.

Pricing starts at $114,705 for an X6 xDrive35i that’s powered by BMW’s award-winning twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine with 225kW and 400Nm. It sprints from 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds, hits a top speed of 240km/h, and uses 12.1 liters of fuel per 100km.

The twin-turbo six-cylinder diesel (xDrive35d) costs $120,530 and delivers 210kW and 580Nm to all four wheels. Its respective figures are 0-100 in 6.9sec, 236km/h top speed and 9.0L/100km.

The addition of xDrive in a new naming system seems convoluted, but the car maker says it wants to promote its four-wheel-drive sub-brand like Audi does with quattro.

BMW says for the foreseeable future the X6 will be powered only by twin-turbocharged engines and in December 2008/January 2008 a 300kW twin-turbo V8 will join the line-up to become the most powerful and quickest X model yet (currently the X5 4.8si).

All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with the X6 becoming the first BMW off-roader to feature paddleshift levers on the steering wheel.

The X6 also aims to justify its premium over the X5 with a number of extra standard features – the most significant of which is Dynamic Performance Control (DPC).

DPC employs a planetary gear set within the X6’s rear differential to add another element to BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system.

While xDrive apportions engine torque between the front and rear axles to improve traction and stability, DPC splits torque distribution between the rear wheels only to improve both the X6’s stability and handling.

It essentially aims to push the X6 around corners by delivering more torque to the outside rear wheel.

Other standard features over the X5 include head-up display, bi-xenon headlights, sports seats, new 19-inch alloys (with optional 20-inch alloys), and a new audio system.

Options include a $7,945 Sports Package that encompasses differently styled 19-inch alloy wheels, different trim, and most notably Adaptive Drive. The latter system features active anti-roll bars designed to further reduce the X6's body roll through corners, while electronically controlled dampers work to provide the best ride comfort whether the driver has chosen Normal or Sport settings.

The X6 arrives at a time when sales of 4WDs in Australia continue to boom despite rising petrol prices.

The luxury-4WD segment has increased by 14 per cent year on year (to June 2008), with BMW’s two current X models both benefiting. The X3 is up 23 per cent, the X5 up a remarkable 76 per cent.

BMW Australia says the X6 won’t get anywhere near the X5’s 450-per-month sales average because the 4WD coupe is a niche product and also only available in smaller numbers owing to demand in other markets such as America and Europe.

The German brand, however, says it has already pre-sold a third of its 300-unit allocation for 2008 and is anticipating up to 500 sales for 2009.

Although diesel engines account for three-quarters of X5 sales, it expects a fairly even split between the twin-turbo petrol and diesel engines for X6 sales.

BMW says its initial X6 customers have switched from Porsche’s Cayenne 4WD and 911 sports coupe, Mercedes’ E-Class sedan and the related CLS four-door coupe – as well as other BMW products including M-series cars, 6-Series coupe, 5-Series sedan and X5.

The X6 is built in the same American plant as the X5, in Spartanburg, California. They will be joined there by the next-generation X3 that’s due by 2010.


Offline M500

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A 911 competitor? I would love to see one chasing a 911 around a track... I dont think so

Offline mhh

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Offline Ferrari Fissatore

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Offline waz356

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A 911 competitor? I would love to see one chasing a 911 around a track... I dont think so

Agreed. Cayenne competitor yes but hardly the same market as a 911.  :rolleyes:

Offline e60m5

  • Joined: Sep 2008

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Great Thread.  Very interesting that it is ...let me guess, quicker around a track than a GT3cup Car, quiter than a Bentley, More spacious than a Hummer and more economical than a Vespa.

So helpful to have a good article by somebody so unbaised and obviously car savvy.

Offline leburpor

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A 911 competitor? I would love to see one chasing a 911 around a track... I dont think so
I'd go faster in the X6 around Malalla than a 911 with manual clutch :p

Offline mhh

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I'd go faster in the X6 around Malalla than a 911 with manual clutch :p

You just need more practice - but using a black 911, not a grey one.  :p

Offline Aircon

  • Master Baiter 300kph+ club
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You just need more practice - but using a black 911, not a grey one.  :p

hahaha....excellent save.

I love my car. Buy your own

Offline trev0006

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BMW X6M what a monster 550HP.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLW8SYN1IyA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLW8SYN1IyA</a>
Fast cars and fast motorcycle video collection

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