BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?

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This is what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?

BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?-coupe

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Source: Max Kirchbauer

BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?-perfect

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Source: Max Kirchbauer

BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?-perfect

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Source: Max Kirchbauer

BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?-athlete

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Source: Max Kirchbauer

BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?-perfect

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Source: Max Kirchbauer

BMW X6 Coupe: Is that what the perfect off-road athlete looks like?-looks

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Source: Max Kirchbauer

At first glance, the new BMW X6 Coupe is a strange construct. The roofline, which slopes gently towards the rear, gives the car a certain sportiness, but it is still surrounded by the brutal force of an off-road vehicle. And the BMW manages to stay true to its dual talent when driving.

UIn order to show what top performance the new X6 is capable of, BMW has rented a private test track near its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The limits of the new SUV coupe can be experienced there on two circuits, one of which is particularly winding and sprinkled with water. Remarkably safe for a heavy off-road vehicle, the X6 circles around small pylons even at high speeds. The car’s assistance systems only have to intervene in tight bends to prevent it from breaking away. Nobody would travel at such a high speed in traffic because the water fountains restrict the view. For BMW it is important to prove that it can drive this car in a particularly sporty manner. The X6 will be offered as a Sport Activity Coupe in Germany from May onwards at prices starting at 55,800 euros. CEO Norbert Reithofer says about the X6 that this car is a "new vehicle concept" was realized. One that at first glance is just a variant of the BMW X5 with a roof that is flattened towards the rear. But there is a little more behind the facade of this unusual car, which is supposed to be an off-road vehicle on the one hand and a sports coupe with four seats and four doors on the other.

The outstanding feature is a new technology, the BMW "Dynamic Performance Control" called and built into the X6 as standard. They no longer only regulate the drive forces between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels. Up to now, if a car threatened to break out, the anti-skid ESP (at BMW this technology is called DSC) prevented the vehicle from turning sideways by automatically braking individual wheels. "Dynamic Performance Control" also prevents skidding, but without braking the car. If there is a risk of losing traction, the rear wheel on the outside of the bend is accelerated first. As a result, the X6 can handle cornering at an unusually high speed, and so dynamically that it can probably keep up with any Porsche Cayenne on circuits. It goes with the fact that BMW has also developed a new eight-cylinder engine for the X6.

With 407 hp, twin turbo charging and gasoline direct injection, this engine is one of the most technically demanding engines of all. Its maximum torque is 600 Newton meters, with a speed range of 1750 to 4500 revolutions per minute. That means: enormous thrust is available to the driver at almost any speed, an acceleration that is otherwise only offered by sports cars. These driving performances are accompanied by a robust melody from the exhaust pipes, which also communicates audibly to passers-by how powerful the X6 is with this engine.

It is precisely this performance that makes the X6 an anachronism to the efforts made by almost all manufacturers today to offer vehicles that are economical and therefore particularly environmentally friendly. The X6 is thus in the tradition of earlier new models, in which the manufacturers wanted to win customers by equipping their vehicles with ever more powerful engines and at the same time using new technologies to try to push the boundaries of the laws of physics.

All models of the X6 are equipped as standard with components from the so-called BMW Efficient Dynamics program, such as brake energy recovery. They concentrate the generation of electricity for the vehicle electrical system on the braking phases. That saves fuel just like tires with reduced rolling resistance and optimized aerodynamics. BMW has already received several awards for this. But despite Efficient Dynamics, the 407 hp X6 consumes 12.5 liters, according to BMW, and probably even more in everyday use. That is little for a 2.2-ton truck that accelerates to 100 km / h in 5.4 seconds. This is also a very low value compared to similarly powerful off-road vehicles, but not compared to modern new vehicles in other sectors. The emission of 299 grams per kilometer of CO2 is also far from the targeted average pollutant emissions of 130 grams per kilometer. For this reason, BMW also wants to offer the X6 with a hybrid drive, the combination of an electric and gasoline engine, in the coming year.

By referring to the two X6 models with economical diesel engines, BMW employees respond to the criticism that the X6 does not offer any further development of environmentally friendly technology. With a consumption of less than nine liters, the diesel engines will undoubtedly be the most popular models in Germany. This X6 is also extremely nimble and, above all, comfortable with diesel in the tank.

But the X6, regardless of the engine under the bonnet, is to be understood as a vehicle with which BMW wants to demonstrate how sporty the brand can be, even if two-ton trucks have to be accelerated. The X6 is a strategic showpiece that is intended to be a signal for the competitors. The message is: We at BMW can build the best sporty cars after all.

BMW builds dream cars

"We build the cars our customers want", says BMW boss Reithofer. There is not much that can be countered with this argument as long as cars like the X6 are bought. Reithofer plans to build 30,000 X6s per year in Spartanburg, USA, where the X5 and soon the X3 will also be assembled. For this year, the SUV coupe should be as good as sold out. No potential customer has yet been able to drive the BMW X6 and experience some body-related disadvantages in the process. This includes an uncomfortable entry and exit at the front and rear via a wide door sill. The wide sheet metal edge prevents the foot from being placed directly on the ground when stepping out, for example. That should probably only be possible from a height of two meters. All smaller passengers come into contact with the door sill, which is probably often dirty.

Those who can cope with this flaw will be rewarded, as in other off-road vehicles, with a raised seating position and a choice of materials that corresponds to upper-class vehicles. There is also nothing to complain about with the safety equipment, which also includes roll-over sensors. In the event of an imminent rollover, it triggers the side airbags and tightens the seat belts. The safety of bi-xenon headlights is added as standard. Each customer is also served with a six-stage automatic.

In addition to sportiness, comfort is also in the foreground in the X6, which is also noticeable in the two rear seats despite the roofline sloping gently towards the rear. Nonetheless, one day motorists will perhaps ask themselves why BMW brought a car onto the market in 2008 that is more in keeping with the tradition of the past decade. Especially when you see the 2.2-ton truck rushing over the autobahn at 250 km / h. In the USA this is not possible anyway because of the speed limit, which is almost 120 kilometers per hour.

In the USA, the X6 with eight-cylinder engine will be a status symbol that can prove its amazing driving power for just five seconds. And in Germany one day you might ask yourself why high-speed drivers didn’t just buy an all-wheel drive station wagon. These cars usually offer more space than 570 or 1450 liters with the seats folded down. They are also better in terms of driving dynamics, and they are even more economical.

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