A sporty off-roader from BMW. Now there’s a surprise…
Yes, BMW’s X6, caught here virtually disguised before arriving in concept form on BMW’s stand at the Frankfurt motor show, ushers in a new motoring acronym. In BMW talk it’s an SAC – that’s Sports Activity Coupe. The sleek and low four-seater – sleek and low for an off-roader, that is – is Munich’s most driver-oriented take on the off-roader yet, to the extent that the word ‘coupe’ keeps cropping up in their X6 lexicon. Underpinned by modified X5 architecture – the two cars share around 70 percent commonality means the same wheelbase, front and rear track dimensions and double wishbones at each corner. The X6 promises to step into the gap between sports utility and sports car.
It'll teach other SUVs how to go round corners, then?
Given how good the X5 is to drive we’re certain the X6 will be a cracking steer, but we seriously doubt such a gap exists outside of the marketing department’s vivid imagination. The X6’s athletic credentials are underlined by fitting Adaptive Drive for adjustable damping and anti-roll bars. Despite the X6’s generous dimensions, rear passengers will endure very tight rear headroom because of that steeply sloping roofline. BMW’s engineers claim that it effectively lowers the X6’s centre of gravity to further enhance the handling. That also means there will be no room for the an X5-style third row of seats – a fifth jump seat will be optional at the expense of luggage space.
It certainly looks, ahh, distinctive
The styling is generic aggression-laden BMW with massive chunky bumpers and side skirts, complemented by large wheels – expect 18inch alloys as standard – an integrated rear spoiler and split exhaust pipes. The powerplant line-up will mirror that of the X5, with twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol (306bhp) and diesel (286bhp) engines, topped off by a 355bhp 4.8-litre V8. Expect the M Sport version to account for most UK sales when it arrives here in 2008. BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology will arrive later in early 2009. Prices should command a £3000 premium over the equivalent X5, so the range should start at £43,00 and rise to £57,000 for the V8 flagship.