2/26/08

X6 Marks the Spot



One of the great buzzwords in the automotive lexicon recently has been “crossover”, referring to vehicles sharing both car and SUV characteristics. Essentially a lower, sleeker and better handling sport utility vehicle. These crossovers seem to be proliferating like wildfire, and the sales numbers certainly confirm their popularity with the car-buying public.

Joining the crossover frenzy is BMW with its upcoming X6.

Lower and wider than BMW’s current X5 “Sports Activity Vehicle”, the X6 will be strictly a four-seater. In fact, the German company refers to it as a “Sports Activity Coupe”.

The all-wheel drive crossover will be available with two powerplants: the highly rated twin-turbo 3.5 liter inline 6 cylinder with 300 bhp, and a brand new twin-turbo V-8 putting out 400 horses. A hybrid version is also rumored to be in the works.

The interior follows the usual BMW design aesthetic, with quality materials, good fit and finish and an ergonomically excellent driving position. What we would refer to as a luxuriously sporting environment.

As for the exterior design, we predict that it will be rather polarizing. Some folks are going to love this crossover and others will hate it. However, we do recommend reserving judgment until you see it in person, as pictures don’t properly represent the presence of the vehicle.

And now for the $53,000 question (the approximate starting price for the X6 3.5): Is this vehicle necessary? The X5 has more room and utility. The 5-series wagon has as much sport, and probably even more utility as well. Give us your feedback and let us know what the public thinks. Despite this possible lack of a true raison d’être, we think the X6 will be a sales success for BMW in the years to come.

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