2015 BMW X6 M
4.4L V8 Twin Turbo - 8-Speed M Steptronic with Drivelogic
567 HP @ 6,000 - 6,500 rpm
553 lb-ft @ 2,200 - 5,000 rpm
Some say it is absolutely pointless. Others say it is the ultimate form of selfish egocentric expression. No, I am not about to introducing the Stig, the monstrous 2015 BMW X6 M is what I am talking about.
When we reviewed the “normal” X6 xDrive35i with the 3.0L turbo engine, we came to the conclusion that despite wanting to be a jacked up sports car, the lack of power left it wondering what the hell it is. In the case of the X6 M though, all that power is readily available, waiting for you to dare it, and does it know what it is? Sure it does.
Starting at $108,200 and with an as tested price tag of $121,500, the X6 M doesn’t allow anyone that has actually driven it to repeat the opinion that deems it “pointless”. It does that by proving that it actually works, and it is not the wrong soul in the the wrong body. The way it looks is the first step towards convincing anyone in doubt that there is something special about this vehicle. The angry front and rear bumpers with the air vents and sharp edges make it look much more aggressive than the non M versions. The M badges are very discrete, something I cannot say about the space-age side mirror design and the strikingly vivid blue colour. Last but not least, if you upgrade the 20″ rims to 21″, you get Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, exclusively developed for the X6 M! Also take a note, that the huge drilled brakes kind of tell the whole story too.
Inside the cabin, the seats are M Sport seats with fixed headrests and huge side support, while the rest of the interior is very appealing, modern and made with only top shelf materials. There are no finishing issues at all, the leather used is amazing and with the carbon fibre accent trim the dashboard is astonishing; it really looks like it belongs to an expensive vehicle. Roominess up front is really good, but the rear seats remain tight and only suitable for medium build people. The trunk, as in the regular X6, sounds good on the spec sheet (570L) but in reality, the limited height compromises its loading abilities. For the X6 M specifically, that should’t be much of an issue, as most potential owners will only be interested to shove their golf bag in it, and that will fit very easily.
Mighty impressive and very convincing as well, is the twin turbo 4.4L V8 engine under the muscular hood. It is the most powerful M engine every made. Pumping out 567 HP and 553 lb-ft, not only does it make this 2.3 ton beast move, but it makes it move explosively fast. With the help of the launch control system, zero to 100km/h takes just 4.2 seconds, and if you could hold the throttle down it would hit 286km/h before the wind resistance became too much to defeat. The only downside is the exhaust note; it is a bit bland, so to spice things up a bit, artificial sound is pumped through the audiophile level B&O sound system. I just wish they had used the soundtrack from the old M V10 motor. The gearbox used is an 8-Speed M Steptronic box with Drivelogic and despite not having two clutches to its disposal, gear changes happen blazing fast.
Actually, everything is adjustable, and when we say everything, we mean the engine’s mapping, the steering effort, the suspension firmness and the gearbox’s aggressiveness. Because of all these options available, BMW has created two profiles, called M Drive, which you can pre-set and then switch to at any time you like. You can mix and match settings as you please but unfortunately there is no way to edit the default mode the car goes into every time you start up.
Equipped with Dynamic Damper Control, the suspension not only adjusts its firmness on demand, but the stabilizers are hydraulically adjuster to set the torsion characteristics to match the overall setup. The fact that it is quite comfortable in the softest mode and generates more lateral acceleration that an M5 in the hardest mode, is all the information one needs to accept that this thing makes absolute sense. And its not just the extreme edges that impress, it is also everything in between. The X6 M is exciting from the moment to turn the engine till the moment you take your eyes off of it, seconds after you have parked it and you are walking away.
Handling is superb for a vehicle of its size and weight. It is true, the sheer mass cannot be hidden, but it can be controlled very well. The Dynamic Performance Control dictates the active locking diffs that make it drive like a sports car. The xDrive favours the rear wheels most of the time and as such, the X6 M feels very agile and athletic. It changes direction quickly and with the precision of a surgical razor and with the massive six-pot brakes it can also stop from 100km/h in 39m, transforming kinetic energy into electric energy via the regenerative brakes included in the Efficient Dynamics package and combined with the auto start/stop system they help in keeping fuel consumption at reasonable levels, as our test average was 14.5lt/100km. The steering is an oasis versus the non M model, as the M Servotronic system in Sport Plus mode is heavier, quicker and the wheel itself has a very thick rim that fits your palms perfectly, reassuring that power is under control. Also, the paddle shifters are tall and thin, they look fantastic and are very nice to use.
Tall, heavy, all-wheel-drive and turbo are things BMW’s M Division had promised none of their vehicles would ever be. They broke all those rules and created what I can only describe as a masterpiece. An easy in, easy out Sports Activity Coupe that as heavy as it might be has proven to be worth its weight in gold.
Steering in Sport Plus mode
No XM radio
Tight rear seats
Steering in comfort mode