Good Oil: incredible supercars seized, BMW releases yet another X6, and more
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BMW insists on releasing another X6 for some reason
Well, we remain firmly in the minority then. BMW has just announced an all-new third-generation X6 swoopy SUV coupe thing will be on sale soon. Despite having always looked a bit odd to us (the forthcoming one is no exception) it seems there remains a feverish audience for the big SUV-that-isn’t.
The new one is, naturally, bigger than previous generation X6s (26mm longer; 5mm wider) but marginally lower in order to improve handling. The car’s silhouette remains as before – normal, normal, normal.
Aside from the obvious steep downward rake of the roofline beyond the b-pillar, the new X6 will further differentiate itself from its more conservatively suited sibling, the X5.
Efforts include a unique set of taillights that stretch the entire width of the rear end, as well as a new illuminating kidney grille which can be programed to light up when the driver locks or unlocks the car. You know, just so people standing near the front of your X6 are as aware as anyone standing at the back that you’re a big show off.
Underlining the “coupe” part of the car’s DNA, BMW has doubled down on the horses (in overseas markets at least) and promises plenty of firepower from up to four different engines. These include a 3-litre turbocharged six-cylinder and, in the flagship M50i, a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8 offering up 390kW peak power and 750Nm of torque.
Despite being a big-bottomed behemoth, the range-topping X6 will apparently rocket from 0-100km/h in just 4.3s.
No, we don’t get it. But plenty of people do. The BMW X6 was a surprise hit upon its release a decade-or-so ago and has sold steadily since. It even led rivals to create their own swoopy-coupe-style SUVs (Porsche announced just such a version of the Cayenne only within the last couple of months).
If you’re bizarrely fascinated by the X6 - or just want to replace your current one for some reason — the 2020 model will be unveiled properly at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Armoured XC90 offered for world’s most stylish warlords
Obvious lofty design principles aside, you couldn’t accuse any Volvo in recent times of being overt. You certainly wouldn’t suggest the sort of buyers that opt for a Volvo would be outspoken in any way either.
Yet, clearly some ust be. To a potentially fatal extent even.
We know this because Volvo has recently shown off a 4.5-tonne armoured XC90 SUV, designed to keep diplomats, dignitaries and, yes, probably the occasional dodgy tycoon safe from invasive harm when on the move.
Called the XC90 Armoured, it is based on a standard T6 AWD model and, outwardly, looks exactly like an XC90. However, it’s equipped with 10mm-thick high-strength steel armour, and with window glass that can be specified up to 50mm thick. The armour adds about 1400kg to the SUV’s weight, bringing total mass up to a shade under 4.5-tonne (with five occupants on board).
Other special features include a fire suppression system in the engine bay, and an escape hatch that allows occupants to climb out of the cabin through a hidden hatch and exit out the boot.
That hidden hatch will also be a handy way to make a swift exit during the test drive when the Volvo salesperson mentions the XC90 Armoured’s expected price tag of $833,000 (£450,000). But if you’re a more miserly oil baron in an unstable third world country, don’t worry; there will also be a slightly cheaper Volvo XC60 version on sale next year, too.
Equatorial Guinea’s playboy VP gets his supercars confiscated
Speaking of oil money, old school African oligarch Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is in trouble in Europe again, with a selection of his ill-gotten supercar collection going under the hammer.
Equatorial Guinea’s Vice-Presidential playboy loves his cars, almost as much as he loves ruthlessly crushing political opponents and amassing material wealth while his country remains one of the world’s poorest.
Bought with state funds, the car collection was seized a couple of years ago and will finally go to auction in Switzerland in a couple of months.
It’s an impressive collection; a primarily low-slung supercar-shaped one which we doubt would fare well on the underdeveloped roading system in the VP’s home country.
The cars — including a rare Lamborghini Veneno Roadster and a Koenigsegg One:1 — are expected to fetch around US$10m all up. The money will (allegedly) be reinvested into social programs in Equatorial Guinea.
Remarkably, this is the second time Mangue has had cars seized. In 2012 a Bugatti Veyron, Maserati MC12 and Ferrari 599 GTO, among others, were forcibly removed from his hippopotamus skin driving glove-clad hands. Some people just never learn.