Next BMW X6 spied

8 Oct, 2013 4:23pm Tom Phillips

All-new version of BMW X6 sports activity vehicle spied ahead of 2015 debut

The all-new BMW X6 is depicted in these pictures, and while the original X6 remains an acquired taste, stronger than expected sales have ensured that a replacement version will be built in the US from late 2014.

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As before, the new X6 uses the same underpinnings as the latest X5. However, the latest X5 uses a slightly tweaked version of the old car's platform anyway, so the new X6 is likely to have similar dimensions to the current X6, which measures 4,877mm long, 1,983mm wide and 1,690mm tall.

That said, the car’s proportions are less dramatic than the first-generation car, including a longer front overhang and more upright kidney grille, although BMW has retained a bit of bling by adding the option of LED headlights you can see on this M Sport-spec test car.

You can also see that the X6 shares some of its design cues with the forthcoming X4, including big creases that run up and over the rear wheelarches, trapezoidal exhaust pipe outlets and a more aggressive front bumper design than the X5.

However, although the new model still prioritises interesting looks over practicality, the test mule reveals a more rounded roofline to boost rear headroom, while a more squared-off tail should boost boot space from today’s 570 litres.

The new X6 will share engines with the latest X5, although it’s likely to be offered with just the larger xDrive30d, xDrive40d and M50d six-cylinder diesel engines mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive system.

BMW will also offer the xDrive50i 4.4-litre petrol V8, which will top the range until the all-new X6 M arrives.

A plug-in hybrid version may be offered as a more eco-minded tech showcase, but all cars are expected to lose weight when compared to their predecessor model. They'll also feature BMW’s EfficientDynamics tech, including Air Curtains to guide air around the front wheels more smoothly, and Air Breathers, which extract turbulent air from the front wheelarches and despatch it down the car’s sides through a vent in the front wing.

The original X6 arrived a couple of years after the second generation X5 was introduced. BMW is likely to follow that strategy again, with the new X6 set to be revealed later next year, with a debut at the Detroit Motor Show in 2015 possible.

It’ll be built at BMW’s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina alongside the X3, X4 and X5.