BMW X6 has always been sold as a niche product, not giving much emphasis on the sales numbers. Now, BMW has made it even more special by adding the M-badge to the SUV, that looks like a coupe. BMW has launched the X6M in India and we drove the vehicle at the Madras Motor Race Track to know, is the vehicle all about looks or does it stand true to the M-performance? Here's our first drive review of the BMW X6M.
BMW X6 was the first SUV crossover to be launched across the globe, and it sure turned out to be a head-turner, be it for the right reasons or wrong reasons. The X6M looks almost similar to the regular X6, with chrome air scoops added on the side and X6M badging on all the sides. We got a chance to drive a brilliant shiny blue shade X6M, which enhanced its appeal furthermore. The front fascia reflects the traditional BMW design elements, with chrome wrapped kidney grille and large air scoops beneath. It's actually the side profile that has created a fuss in the market, that flows down to the rear end, gels with the bonnet, and gives an impression of a coupe, making it a crossover in the process. A low slung spoiler, dual pipe exhaust and vertical reflectors complete the rear look.
Glazed in red leather trim, the BMW X6M cabin can put many sports cars in the market today to shame. Red stitching and piano black elements, with a couple of carbon fibre inserts, complete the overall sporty appearance of the cabin. Front seats are designed in a way that they can hold you well during the high speed corners, thanks to the side bolstering and still are comfortable enough, like in any other BMW cars, thanks to the under thigh support and cushioning.
Speaking of the central console, the design is a typical BMW, which exudes luxury and finesse. The minimalist design approach houses a big infotainment screen on the top of the dash, automatic climate control and media system. The central tunnel houses the iDrive system and auto gear knob, along with important technical buttons like TCS, suspension settings, and alike. The dials in the instrument cluster are nice and big, with an M-badge sitting proudly amidst them.
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
The BMW X6M is powered by the same 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 unit that powers the X5M SUV, and produces 567 hp power and 750 Nm torque. Mated with an eight-speed auto transmission with torque converter, which sends power to all the four wheels, the engine can push the car from 0-100 kmph in just 4.2 seconds, as claimed by BMW.
Speaking of which, the performance figures are not restricted to just the spec sheet, but converts the SUV into a rocket as soon as you hit the accelerator. We were astonished to see how well this M-achine performs when you try to gun it on a straight stretch of the track. The automatic gearbox manages to make quick shifts, thanks to the performance tuning of BMW, and you won't be compelled to go manual to get high-revving output. All-in-all, a sincere effort by the Germans.
Ride and Handling
There has always been a sense of skepticism when you are pushing a 2500 kg monster on a track. And Madras Motor Race Track is among the few tracks in the country that are made very strategic, with hardly any straight. Still, when you touch 154kmph, and the apex is just around there, you try to brake hard to avoid the body roll. And this is where we were taken aback totally!
Apart from a prominent understeer, which became a habit after a couple of turns, the X6M managed to maintain its composure, and soon I started enjoying maneuvering through the curves! How brilliantly the X6M managed to keep itself on the track, left us impressed to say the least. On the ride front also, the X6M managed to impress us, though we were on a well-laid tarmac with no potholes. But, going by the way BMW does things, it is given that it will be a nice ride overall.
While the looks of the X6 created a major divide among the aficionados, we bet the performance of X6M will bring them back together. This one-of-its-kind vehicle looks beefy, races like a sports car (thanks to the 575 horses BMW has induced in the X6M) and can occasionally beat bushes off the road. We are just glad that a machine like this exists.