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.