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BMW X6: "Genetic" engineering
Blends crossover with coupé genes

BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupé: front-side, static view.

BMW X6 SAC, for Sports Activity Coupé.

APN, 19 Dec. 2007.

When the new BMW X6 hits the European and U.S. markets in the second quarter of 2008, it will bring with it a few "firsts". Despite its four doors and crossover SUV body, the new X6 does look also like a coupé, or a coupé version of its X5 brother.

Hence the name SAC, for Sports Activity Coupé. The Bavarian "Activity" is practically the equivalent of the American "Utility", in sports utility vehicle (SUV). True, modern crossovers are built on unitary bodies, far away from the traditional body-on-frame SUVs. But while the latter ones remain the toughest in off-road applications (utility aspect), crossovers take their revenge on tarmac (activity).

X6 length: 4877mm (X5: 4854), wheelbase: 2933mm (same as the X5), width: 1983mm (X5: 1933) and height: 1690mm (X5: 1766).

Dimensions - In size terms, the available exterior dimensions indicate an X6 body length of 4877mm (compared to 4854mm for the X5 and 4569 for the smaller X3), a 2933mm wheelbase (same as the X5, compared to 2795mm in the X3), 1983mm width (1933 for the X5 and 1853 for the X3) and 1690mm height (1766 for the X5 and 1674 for the X3).

BMW X6 Coupé-SUV: back-side, driving shot.

Engineered as a four-passenger coupé.

Being engineered as a four-passenger coupé, the new X6 inaugurates a new automotive niche market, where coupé lines combine with four-wheel drive identity, without depriving the passengers from a cargo volume of 570 litres behind the rear seats (European measurement standards) up to 1450 litres (when folded).

Beyond the Coupé-SUV identity, other firsts to be brought by the new X6 are the Dynamic Performance Control system, and a range of four turbocharged engines. This is the first time in BMW’s history that an entire model range is turbocharged, from the top BMW X6 xDrive50i version with its all-new twin-turbocharged V8 producing 408hp at 5,500rpm, to the X6 xDrive30d.

UK on-the-road prices: GB£41,955 for the X6 xDrive30d, £44,135 for the X6 xDrive35d, and £42,625 for the X6 xDrive35i.

The X6 will be launched first with the X6 xDrive30d, xDrive35i and xDrive35d. The X6 xDrive50i goes on sale later in the year (prices will be announced nearer the launch date). In the USA market (second quarter), the X6 will be available with the two petrol (gasoline) engines. In the UK, the X6 will be launched in May, with on-the-road prices of GB£41,955 for the X6 xDrive30d, £44,135 for the X6 xDrive35d, and £42,625 for the X6 xDrive35i.

BMW X6 crossover-coupé: side view, driving shot.

BMW proportions with a stretched coupé - crossover silhouette.

X6 xDrive50i - The V8 engine will make the X6 xDrive50i the most powerful production X model BMW has ever produced. With its 408hp (400hp in the U.S. specification) from 4,395cc, the new 4.4-litre returns a specific output of 92.83hp per litre. Its 600Nm of torque (450lb.ft in the U.S. specs, equivalent to 610 Nm) from 1,800rpm through to 4,500rpm propels the X6 from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 5.4 seconds.

Top speed has been electronically-limited to 250 km/h (155mph). Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 22.6 imperial mpg (UK specs, equivalent to 18.83 US mpg, 12.5 litres / 100 km, 8 km/ litre).

To the brief power, performance and consumption figures.

To optimise packaging, the new V8 engine is also the first engine in the world to locate twin-turbochargers and a catalytic converter within the two banks of the engine's V. This design allowed engineers to fit the twin-turbochargers needed for increased performance without having to reconfigure the double wishbone front suspension.

X6 xDrive35i - The other petrol engine choice is the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder (inline). Already available in the 1 and 3 Series, it comes now also in the X6 xDrive35i. Offering 306hp (300hp in the U.S. specification) from its 2,979cc displacement (102.72hp per 1,000cc), the BMW X6 xDrive35i produces peak power at 5,800rpm, with peak torque of 400Nm (300lb.ft in the U.S. specs, equivalent to 406 Nm) from 1,300rpm through to 5,000rpm.

The X6 xDrive35i can sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 6.7 seconds before going on to a top speed of 240 km/h (149mph). Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 25.9mpg (21.6 US mpg, 10.91 litres / 100 km, 9.17 km/litre) with CO2 emissions of 262g/km.

BMW X6 SUV: front, driving shot.

BMW X6: back, driving shot.

Four turbocharged engine choices, 6 or V8 cylinders, 6-speed automatic transmission and xDrive four-wheel drive system twinned with the new Dynamic Performance Control system.

The two diesel-powered versions come in the X6 xDrive30d and X6 xDrive35d.

X6 xDrive30d - The single-turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine of the X6 xDrive30d features third-generation common-rail fuel injection, providing an output of 235hp at 4,000rpm, with a specific output of 78.51hp per 1,000cc. The 2,993cc unit achieves 520Nm of torque from 2,000rpm through to 2,750rpm, providing a zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 8.0 seconds, with a top speed of 210 km/h (130mph), or 220 km/h (137mph) with the Dynamic Package fitted. The package consists of unique 19-inch alloy wheels, anthracite headlining, mesh lower front grilles in titanium colour, Nevada leather upholstery, fully electric seat adjustment, High-gloss Shadowline and Sports seats.

The X6 xDrive30d consumes an average of 34.4mpg on the combined cycle (28.6 US mpg, 8.21 litres / 100 km, 12.18 km/litre), with emissions of 217g/km CO2.

BMW X6: front seats, console and dashboard view.

Coupé with an SUV high driving position.

X6 xDrive35d - Also powered by the 2,993cc six-cylinder diesel engine with third generation common-rail technology, but with twin-turbocharging, the X6 xDrive35d produces 286hp at 4,400rpm (95.55hp per litre). Peak torque is 580Nm from 1,750rpm through to 2,250rpm. Zero to 100 km/h ( 62mph) is achieved in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 236 km/h (147mph). Fuel consumption is 34.0mpg on the combined cycle (28.33 US mpg, 8.31 litres / 100 km, 12.04 km/litre), and emitting 220g/km CO2 emissions.

BMW X6 SUV: dashboard and console view, driver side.

Standard part electric seat adjustment, 6.5-inch colour display screen with iDrive controller and two-zone climate control.

EfficientDynamics - With BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology, the new X6 is enhanced by a number of intelligent features, such as the Brake Energy Regeneration. Incorporating an Intelligent Alternator Control and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recycle previously lost energy, it lowers fuel consumption, as the alternator reduces drag on the engine by only engaging when required to charge the battery, instead of constantly draining power from the engine, as is the case with a traditional alternator. Additionally, the energy generated by the engine on over-run (under braking or descending a hill) was also previously wasted. Now this lost energy is used by the alternator to charge the battery.

BMW X6 SUV: six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles.

BMW X6 SUV: six-speed automatic transmission, gearshift stick view.

6-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Reduced rolling resistance tyres featuring special heat resistant, anti-distortion materials in the tread and sidewalls lower emissions and improve fuel efficiency. X6 comes with low friction transmission fluids and active aerodynamics to regulate air flow to the engine. Petrol-powered X6s also feature high-precision direct injection for the optimum in combustion characteristics.

Dynamic Performance Control - Twinned with the xDrive four-wheel drive system, Dynamic Performance Control makes its world debut on the BMW X6. It works by spreading drive forces from side to side at the two rear wheels as required in a given situation.

BMW says that Dynamic Performance Control is the only system of its kind in the world able to provide its stabilising effect both under power and with the engine on over-run. Supplied by ZF (covered by Motion Trends in June 2007) system works by detecting possible over- or understeer of the vehicle in, for example, a bend. When this occurs Dynamic Performance Control will vary the distribution of drive forces between the wheels for the best possible stability, dynamic traction, and forward motion. This is achieved by transferring additional wheel speed to the outer rear wheel to push the car round the corner rather than applying brake force to the inner wheels as currently happens with traditional stability control systems.

BMW X6 Dynamic Performance Control

BMW X6 Dynamic Performance Control

DPC.

In the process, BMW says that Dynamic Performance Control improves driving stability at all speeds, not only ensuring maximum traction when pulling away, and precise control when entering a bend, but also higher levels of lateral acceleration and optimum directional stability when accelerating out of the bend. More details.

Design - While it is the third X model to be launched by BMW, the four-seat X6 is aimed at a different customer to X3 and X5 owners, appealing to drivers looking for more sports car characteristics, but still with the driving feel of a crossover.

From the front, large air intakes positioned on the outer reaches of the front bumper highlight the cooling requirements of the high-performance engine. The contour of the central air intake, in addition, visually widens the car for a more sporting appearance.

BMW X6 SUV: rear seats DVD and climate control view.

Rear seats DVD above the climate control settings knobs.

From the side, BMW proportions are clear, while the roofline and relatively long rear body overhang give the car a stretched coupé / crossover silhouette. Flared wheel arches, standard 19-inch light-alloy wheels and a wide rear track (1706mm compared to a 1644mm front track) underscore the sporting character.

Equipment - All BMW X6s models come (UK specifications. Standard and optional equipment lists vary depending on markets) with standard 19-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Performance Control, xDrive four-wheel drive, Dynamic Stability Control+, xenon headlights, front and rear Park Distance Control, Sports suspension and a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles.

BMW X6 SUV: storage and cup holders between the rear seats.

Storage between the two rear seats.

Inside, standard equipment includes part electric seat adjustment, 6.5-inch colour display screen with iDrive controller, two-zone climate control and ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear.

The X6 xDrive50i comes as standard with a different style of 19-inch alloy wheel, self-levelling rear suspension, angular exhaust tailpipes, a redesigned kidney grille and side window surround, and Nevada leather upholstery.

BMW X6 SUV: boot / trunk view.

Cargo volume of 570 litres, up to 1450 litres (rear seats folded).

Options include Adaptive Drive handling package, Active Steering, Head-up Display, Adaptive Headlights, High-beam Assistant, Reversing  Camera and four-zone climate control. Active Steering offers the right steering ratio at all speeds, maintaining direct steering behavior up to a speed of about 88 km/h (55 mph), as required particularly for sporty driving. A further advantage in this case is that the driver only has to turn the steering wheel twice from lock to lock when parking. At higher speeds, on the other hand, Active Steering offers a more indirect transmission ratio in the interest of steady directional stability and, as a result, enhanced motoring comfort.

On the BMW X6, Active Steering is combined with Servotronic, thus making an active contribution in stabilising the car in the event of over-steer in bends or particularly demanding brake manoeuvres. When applying the brakes on different surfaces left and right, for example, that is with a so-called modal split, Active Steering counter-steers discreetly but firmly to prevent the car from swerving out of control.

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