10 Jul, 2009 4:06pm David Vivian

Ultimate version of coupe-style mpv blasts in


The X6M is clearly an exceptional all-rounder. But does it deliver the thrills and driver involvement that have become synonymous with the M badge over the years? Sadly, no. Although it’s very fast, dynamically it’s no match for lesser, lighter X6s, while its twin-turbo V8 sounds flat. With its gaping air ducts and 20-inch alloys, the car looks the part. But the M factor has gone missing.
Recession or not, BMW’s 170mph X6M goes on sale in October. And its mission is clear: to blow the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes ML63 AMG into the weeds. 

The new £74,425 version of the X6 Sports Activity Vehicle is launched alongside the X5M, and is as controversial as it is bold. Previously, BMW’s M division vowed it would never touch a big 4x4, but times have changed, and the company has had to evolve. 

The X6M is described as a sports car – and there’s no arguing with the statistics. Its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 delivers 547bhp, and gives 0-62mph in only 4.7 seconds, plus a top speed of 155mph. 

It’s also claimed the car has lapped the Nordschleife at Germany’s Nürburgring circuit as fast as the previous M3 – a remarkable feat given that the 4x4 weighs in at 2,380kg.

The X6M does feel seriously quick – both in a straight line and in corners. A big factor is the Dynamic Performance control system, which shifts torque between the wheels to maximise stability and traction. Powerful, fade-resistant brakes add to the appeal. The X6M also blends supercar pace with decent ride and refinement, which is some achievement.

Key specs

*Price: £74,425 
*Engine: 4.4-litre V8, 547bhp 
*Transmission: Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
*Econ/CO2: 20.3mpg/325g/km 
*0-62/top spd: 4.7 secs/155mph (171mph with M Driver pack) 
*Equipment: M sport seats and steering wheel, infotainment system with 12-speaker hi-fi, sat-nav, dynamic cruise control, 20-inch alloys 
*On sale: October