Car reviews - BMW - X6 - M50d
BMW's facelifted X6 gets a powerful diesel engine to take on Porsche's Cayenne
27 Jun 2012
A NEW triple-turbo engine – the world’s most powered inline six-cylinder diesel – in a new M-enhanced model, the M50d, is the highlight of a facelifted X6 SUV range from German manufacturer BMW.
The first overhaul for the ‘Sports Activity Coupe’ since its launch in 2008, the new X6 otherwise gets superficial tweaks such as a rear bench seat to seat three (instead of two) and adaptive LED headlamps on X6 M flagship.
The new tri-turbo 3.0-litre diesel engine – which also becomes available in the related X5 – produces a whopping 280kW of power and 740Nm of torque in the new variant.
The M50d also marks the debut of BMW’s M Performance sports level – sort of a halfway house between the standard models and the hardcore M flagships.
Such is the performance of the engine with its two small high-pressure turbos and one large low-pressure unit that the 2.2-tonne vehicle can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds – faster than its petrol V8 xDrive50i stablemate.
At the same time, it uses just 7.7 litres of diesel per 100km on the combined fuel test.
Model release date: 1 June 2012 to 1 January 2015
June 2012Family Tree: X6
UNIQUE styling, SUV proportions, twin-turbo engines, technology-enhanced sports car handling and ultra-niche positioning formed the hallmarks of the BMW X6 ‘Sports Activity Coupe’.Get the full story: BMW has bolted twin turbos on to the X6's V8, pumping out 600Nm of torque
BMW described it as “a blend of the strengths of the BMW X5 and the BMW 6 Series Coupe”.
In fact, the X6 is derived from the second-generation E70 series X5 SUV – itself loosely based on the E60 5 Series – and is similarly built at BMW’s US production line in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
However, while X6 and X5 shared much of their mechanicals, understructure and interior, they had no body panels in common.
Two well-specified all-wheel-drive models were available from launch: a twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder petrol known as the xDrive35i, and the diesel-powered xDrive35d. January 2009 saw the debut of the twin-turbo V8-powered xDrive50i.
With the aid of two turbochargers working on three cylinders each, the xDrive35i produced 225kW of power at 5800rpm and 400Nm of torque at 1300-5000rpm.
Meanwhile, the xDrive35d produced 210kW at 4400rpm and 580Nm from 1750 to 2250rpm.
Both X6 engines were mated to the ZF six-speed automatic transmission common to most contemporary BMWs, recalibrated and retuned for ‘sporty’ response.
Steering wheel paddle shifters also made their first appearance in this level of BMW, but no manual gearbox was offered, despite the car’s sporty aspirations.
BMW decided to go after the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG with the X6 M in late 2009. Under the bonnet was an M GmbH-fettled twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8.
Click to share
GoAuto can help you buy a new X6
Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires
This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).
By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.
Terms and Conditions
- In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
- We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
- You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
- We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
- While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
- You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
- You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.
- We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
- We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
- From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
Motor industry news
GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.