Competes with: Audi Q8, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, forthcoming Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Looks like: A fastback X5, which it is
Drivetrains: 335-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder (40i) or 523-hp, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 (50i), both with eight-speed automatic transmissions; rear- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: November
The redesigned 2020 BMW X6 hatchback-like “coupe” SUV will land in November with all the improvements as well as the big new grille that its companion, the X5, got with a model-year 2019 redesign. But it carries the fastback “four-door coupe” roofline that’s either a hot SUV look or a style-over-substance European affectation, depending on your politics on that divide.
As with its X5 sibling, the redesign boasts more space, luxury and comfort as BMW merges a more upscale experience with sporty driving. And it will have more direct competition for 2020. Along with Audi’s new Q8 and a new coupe version of the redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, the new Porsche Cayenne Coupe enters the field for 2020.
The X6 will come in turbocharged six-cylinder variants with rear-wheel drive (sDrive40i) or all-wheel drive (xDrive40i), as well as an AWD turbo V-8 (M50i) edition. The SUV hits dealers in November. Pricing starts $3,600 higher than a base 2019 X5, at $65,295 (all prices include $995 destination) for the sDrive40i and $67,595 for the X6 xDrive40i. The M50i starts at $86,645.
As with its X5 sibling, the 2020 X6 is a little bigger – 0.6 inch wider and an inch longer on a wheelbase stretched 1.6 inches. The new front end will look familiar, dominated by the oversized one-piece version of the BMW twin-kidney grille and slim LED headlights. Making its debut with the 2020 X6, however, is the option to have that grille – wait for it – light up. That’s new for BMW and possibly driven by Mercedes’ optional lighting for the oversized star that graces its current grilles. You can have it light up automatically or control it yourself, and it’s wired into the daytime running lights, so you can get your kidneys lit without seeing a doctor.
The roofline flows into BMW-described “double-bubble” sculpting that ends in small twin spoilers over the hatchback window. A more sculpted rear and wide, slim LED taillights complete the look, which is a bit less bulky-bustle than the outgoing model. The extra aerodynamics and sculpting for the M50i or an appearance package for the 40i raises the ante on aggressiveness.
Interior materials, trim options and multimedia tech follow the X5 redesign, with leather upholstery, sport seats and a vinyl-wrapped dashboard standard on the X6. But trim options are myriad, including glass controls for the shift lever, iDrive multimedia knob and a few other items. Standard or available features include a 12.3-inch configurable instrument display, head-up display, USB-C ports and a 12.3-inch touchscreen along with the latest generation of iDrive with gesture and cloud-based voice control. A Bowers & Wilkins premium stereo is available.
Ambient lighting is standard, and a larger panoramic moonroof that can come with a Sky Lounge system, which adds an after-dark starry sky effect with 15,000 (not just a thousand) points of light.
Under the Hood
Six-cylinder models have an updated version of BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, which puts out 335 horsepower and 330 pounds-feet of torque — both figures up about 10 percent versus the outgoing six-cylinder X6. BMW estimates the RWD and AWD versions will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and 5.2 seconds, respectively. Both figures are just under a second quicker than those of the outgoing six-cylinder X6.
A new version of twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 powers the M50i, putting out 523 hp and a lofty 553 pounds-feet of torque, the latter figure coming on at just 1,800 rpm. It also comes with an M Sport exhaust system that lets you control how loudly you want to advertise that power.
Both engines work through an eight-speed automatic transmission that can work with the navigation system and, on models with the available adaptive cruise control, radar-sensor data, to modify shift behavior to suit conditions. The torque-vectoring AWD has a rear bias that can send all torque to the rear. An electronic rear differential, standard on the M50i and optional on the xDrive M40i, can shift power between the left and right rear wheel to optimize cornering speeds or traction needs.
Adaptive shock absorbers are standard on the X6, with optional self-leveling air springs that can raise or lower the SUV by 1.6 inches. And an optional Dynamic Handling Package adds active stabilizer bars and rear-wheel steering.
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Safety and Driver Assistance
Standard safety technology includes frontal collision, pedestrian and cyclist warnings with automatic emergency braking, as well as rear collision warning, lane departure warning and a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
An optional package adds adaptive cruise control all the way to a stop, as well as lane departure warning and lane-keeping steering assist, a front collision alert for obstructed views, pedestrian evasion assist and Extended Traffic Jam Assistant. ETJA enables semi-autonomous driving in congestion on limited-access highways at speeds of less than 40 mph. Also offered is a parking assist package and 360-degree camera system.
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