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BMW details next-gen X6

Unique style: The BMW X6 has a look that doesn’t appeal to everybody but sales show there are those that love it.

Second-gen SUV-meets coupe BMW X6 detailed ahead of global launch in late 2014

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BMW logo6 Jun 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

BMW has revealed images and details of its next-generation X6 SUV that is due to go on sale in Australia in early 2015, following a public global debut later this year.

Initially, BMW will offer three variants from its European launch later this year – the petrol xDrive 50i and two diesels in the form of the xDrive 30d and M50d – although BMW will add the 225kW xDrive 35i six-cylinder petrol and the xDrive 40d with a 230kW six-cylinder diesel later in 2015.

The second-generation X6 has kept the same coupe-meets-SUV shape as the polarising original, but some restyling has given it sharper, more defined lines to create a more muscular and angular body.

The front-end has been given a new look as well, with redesigned bi-Xenon headlights, while other new touches include air deflectors on the wheel arches that work together with what BMW calls Air Curtains in the front air intakes and Air Breathers in the side panels to reduce air turbulence.

BMW has used light-weight materials and high-strength steel for better performance and improved fuel efficiency.

This includes aluminium in the bonnet, magnesium in the instrument panel supports and high strength steels and plastics in the side panels.

The wheelbase of the X5-based model stays at 2933mm but the second-generation version has grown in overall length by 32mm to 4909mm, while height and width is almost the same as the previous version.

Inside, there is now 580 litres of cargo space, an increase of 10 litres from the outgoing model.

The X6 gains a redesigned interior with a three-spoke sports leather steering wheel that is unique to the model, while luxury touches include brushed aluminium or various wood-grain panels.

A 10.2-inch screen sits atop the center stack and is connected to the standard iDrive system, with BMW likely to offer a range of optional interior packages including the M Sport Package.

The xDrive50i comes with the X6’s flagship engine – the new 4.4-litre turbo V8 which the car-maker has used in a number of its latest cars including the mechanically related X5.

Rated at 330kW and 650Nm, it produces 30kW more power and 50Nm more torque than the previous V8 in the X6 and pushes the 2.2-tonne SUV from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds.

BMW says to expect average fuel economy of 9.7 litres per 100km on the combined cycle – a huge gain in efficiency compared to the 12.5L/100km average fuel consumption of the previous V8.

The entry point to the diesel range – the X6 xDrive 30d – is powered by a 190kW/560Nm 3.0-litre in-line six with 10kW more power and 20Nm more torque than the six in the outgoing xDrive 30d.

Average combined fuel economy is 6.0L/100km while the oiler can dash from zero to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds.

The xDrive M50d is a product of BMW M Performance Automobiles division and while it is not quite an ‘M' car, engineering tweaks have ensured it will appeal to performance car fans.

The 3.0-litre straight six diesel engine has three turbo chargers and produces 280kW and 740Nm. It is the most powerful diesel BMW builds and can launch the car from rest to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, while the car-maker claims fuel economy of 6.6L/100km – down 14 percent on the outgoing model.

All engines come standard with BMW’s eight-speed sports automatic, which has been refined and comes with a launch control function.

Carrying unique styling and an athletic stance, the X6 created a new niche for BMW when it launched here in August 2008.

BMW Group Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker told GoAuto that the popularity of the X6 has surprised the German car-maker.

“The X6 has a niche target audience and it wasn’t intended to be the same volume car as the X5," he said. “Quite frankly it’s far exceeded initial expectations in terms of sales volumes from the factory when we first launched it.”

Those sales of the X6 have exceeded 250,000 globally in the past seven years, and BMW says that figure is proof there is a place for such a unique looking vehicle.

“The X6 has proven the business case for a car of this purpose - a high riding SUV with a coupe styling. So what most people see as compromises others see as benefits – as a car that makes a statement.

"It’s a more dynamic performance orientated SAV which suits their lifestyle, their needs and their taste.”

The international launch of the second-generation X6 is expected later this year, with a possible global debut at the Paris Motor Show. Pricing and specifications are yet to be announced for the Australian market.

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