An automotive category-killer was born when BMW introduced the X6 back in 2007. The automaker grafted a grand tourer body onto an SUV platform and marketed it as a sports activity coupe.
The 2020 X6 is slated for production in August 2019 at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, North Carolina. Its launch is planned for November 2019.
BMW will be offering three versions of the new X6: the rear-wheel-drive sDrive40i, the all-wheel-drive xDrive40i, and the top-of-the-line M50i, which replaces the old xDrive50i.
More powerful and aerodynamic than the previous generation, the 5-seater 2020 X6 will please fans of this maverick crossover and may win over devotees of some its rivals. But most of the hubbub around the new X6—for good or for bad—is about its exterior.
The X6 Exterior: Bigger, More Audacious
The 2020 X6 is 1.0 inch longer and 0.6 inches wider than its predecessor, with an increase of 1.6 inches to its wheelbase. It’s also 0.7 inches lower which, along with the added width, creates a powerful and aerodynamic stance.
Much has been written about BMW’s signature kidney grille and the ways it has morphed over the years. On the new X6, the grille has been reshaped to be more angular and larger than last year’s, giving the front fascia an ornery, snarling look.
The new narrow trapezoidal LED headlights emphasize the angular quality that characterizes the X6’s front end. Active air slats that open and close automatically are another new feature.
Buyers who fancy a bit of front-end bling can get an optional illuminated kidney grille that is part of a daytime running light feature. The light will stay on while the vehicle is running.
The rear fascia has several design elements that give it as almost a distinctive look as the front of the car. A split spoiler sits on its sloping roof and a more defined one is located below the rear window.
Below that is what BMW calls its “double-bubble” design where is the hatch is situated. Narrow, strip-like tail lights, a lowered license plate, and chunky fenders complete the brawny appearance that backs up the aggressive-looking front.
An Interior that Focuses on Style
For 2020, the interior of the X6 now is nearly the same as that of the 2019 X5, as Daniel Golson of Car and Driver has noted. The geometric look of the kidney grille is matched by the angular accents on the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and around the dashboard. There is also a 12.3-inch touchscreen.
Glass controls for items such as the transmission selector and the start/stop button are also an elegant option, and there’s even more in glass in the standard panoramic moonroof, which is 83% bigger than last year’s. Buyers can opt for the Sky Lounge moonroof that has 15,000 accent points, simulating a starry sky.
Headroom is much the same as in previous years with only a slight gain in legroom. Cargo capacity has also increased slightly.
An Upgrade in Performance
The base model, the sDrive40i, makes 335 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque. The xDrive40i makes the same horsepower and torque as the sDrive40i. Both variants have turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engines.
The M50i runs on a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine and makes 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. It clocks from 0 to 62 mph in a blazing 4.3 seconds.
Standard features on the new X6 include LED headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, cruise control with braking function, and automatic climate control.
The X6 comes with a number of standard safety features bundled into what BMW calls an “Active Driving Assistant”. The Assistant has features such as Blind Spot Detection and Front and Rear Collision Warnings.
A Wide Selection of Option Packages
BMW offers several option packages for all three variants of the X6.
For example, buyers interested in upgrading the vehicle’s safety features can get a “Driving Assistance Professional Package” that includes Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and Automatic Lane Change, among others.
Customers who buy the sDrive40i or the xDrive40i can opt for the M Sport Package, a body kit that adds sportier features of the M50i such as bigger wheels, performance tires, and a choice of air or adaptive suspension to their vehicle.
A “Dynamic Handling Package” is available for the xDrive40i and the M501 that includes sport brakes, active roll stabilization, adaptive suspension, and integral active steering.
The new X6 sDrive40i will start at at $65,295. Buyers should expect to pay $67,595 for the xDrive40i and $86,645 for the M50i.
Faster, Bigger and Even More Quirkier?
With its big angular kidney grille and sloping roof, the X6 may not appeal to buyers who prefer more traditional-looking SUVs. But BMW must be on the right track because the automaker claims that over 443,000 customers have bought this idiosyncratic crossover.
So, the 2020 BMW X6 might be just the ticket for the driver who wants a performance-oriented SUV that still thinks its a grand touring car, along with all the peculiarities that come with that unique identity.
All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.