BMW X6: the lowdown
Here's the proof that BMW is working on sporty X5 derivative: the X6. Spied testing for the first time, this heavily cladded mule confirms what sources have long been telling CAR Online: that the X6 is '100 percent definite' and will be on sale in 2008. Based on the X5 chassis and running six- and eight-cylinder engines, the X6 is a crossover that mixes 4x4 running gear with a swoopier body. There'll only be room for two rows of seats, and the cabin will be snug – rather than the new X5's spacious seven seat interior. For more details and pictures, click next.
X6: concept and design
Insiders refer to the X6 – codenamed E71 – as a Sports Activity Coupe. The front end is taking shape, with key differences to the X5: bespoke, slitty lamps and a deeper bodykit, with vents so aggressive they could have wandered in from the Ferrari Enzo production line. BMW staples include the kidney grille and V-shaped bonnet. The changes become even more noticeable as you look rearwards. The shoulder line rises dramatically, making for a much shallower, coupe-esque glasshouse, and the roofline plunges. It could be as claustrophobic as a Merc CLS in the rear seats.
Under the skin
Some 70 percent of components are shared with the X5. The wheelbase and track are identical, and the X5's driver-oriented kit – active damping, adjustable anti-roll bars, computer-controlled four-wheel drive – will all be offered on the lower-slung X6. Engines will be shared with the X5, which means 231bhp 3.0-litre diesel six and 355bhp 4.8-litre V8. Expect the twin turbo diesel six, soon to be boosted to more than 300bhp, to figure, along with the 3.0-litre petrol six in 258bhp and 306bhp turbo guises.
The X6 has a bespoke rear end. The tailgate is much smaller than the X5's two-piece hatch, and the rear bumper is deeper and more aggressive. Expect maximum luggage capacity to drop by around 200 litres to 1420, with the rear seats folded. The X6 will have a standard four-seat configuration like Volvo's C30, although a fifth jump seat may be optional. Expect to pay around £40,000 for the X6, when sales begin around spring 2008.