BMW is hoping that you’ll be all aglow over the new X6. At least as glowing as the new light-up kidney grilles the crossover coupe is getting. But there’s more to the new X6 than just Rudolph comparisons, there’s also more power, a touch more size, and more active safety tech.
That’s right, this one lights up. The larger, single-piece kidney grilles with aerodynamic active aero slats light up. Though to be fair to BMW, it isn’t the first automaker to make this an option. Mercedes will glow your star, and even Mazda lights up the nose of the CX-9 crossover. But it’s one of those details that will likely enthral buyers and make everyone else cringe.
The new X6 is slightly larger than before. Up 26 mm in overall length, 42 mm between the 21-inch alloys, and 15 mm wider. That should mean a bit more space inside, underneath the optional starlit panoramic Sky Lounge roof that can show more than 15,000 patterns and six colours to simulate the night sky.
Even more glass can be had on the controller for the latest version of BMW’s iDrive, the start/stop button, and the volume knob for the optional 1,500 watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system.
While other markets, including the US, offer a rear-drive model, BMW Canada rightly assumes that buyers will want their crossover coupes to drive all four wheels. So both the xDrive40i and M50i come that way. The 40i model gets a turbocharged inline-six that displaces 3.0L and puts out 335 hp and 330 lb-ft. That’s 33 hp and 35 lb-ft more than last year thanks to an integrated exhaust manifold, quicker-responding turbo, and new intercooler. The M50i gets a 4.4L turbo V8 that delivers 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. Gains of 78 hp and 74 torques. Both engines get a standard M Sport exhaust with electronic driver-controlled noise adjustment.
Adaptive M Suspension is standard on both, driver adjustable with two damper settings for sport or comfort. M Sport Plus adds active roll stabilization and rear-wheel steering to enhance handling. BMW says the active roll will also increase straight-line comfort by countering bumps that are on one side of the road. Like potholes that haven’t taken over the entire roadway.
Air suspension is optional, able to control each wheel individually and self-level. Ride height can change up to 80 mm. 40 mm up for off-road or 40 mm down for loading. An off-road pack for 40i combines the air suspension with M Sport rear diff and off-road drive modes.
The X6 gets most of BMW’s range of driver aids. Like back-up assistant that can reverse what you’ve done for up to 50 metres. There’s a top-down camera view and remote 3D view accessible from your smartphone even when you aren’t with the vehicle. Front collision warning with collision mitigation is standard. Options include the usual blind spot warnings, lane guidance, rear cross traffic alerts, and speed signs. There’s also radar cruise that will work to a not-recommended-by-us 210 km/h.
It’s now the seventh-gen of BMW’s iDrive infotainment, and here it gets a 12.3-inch center display. And a matching 12.3-inch digital cluster. It stores driver settings to the cloud and can send them to other BMWs.
The BMW X6 will arrive at dealers sometime in November, with pricing to follow.