German muscle: BMW's bold X6 M50i tested
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BMW X6 M50i
- Epic engine
- Fluid handling
- High-tech cabin
- Not exactly pretty
- More expensive than an X5
- Less practical than an X5
If you detect a strange look on the front of the latest BMW X6, it might be smugness.
When BMW revealed its bright idea of a massive SUV that was styled like a coupe in 2008, we motoring “experts” did a spit-take and carried on with our lives. But actual customers loved it: BMW sold more than 250,000 examples of the original X6.
The third-generation X6 does look a lot less weird than its predecessors, but it’s still clearly coupe-inspired. Our M50i test-model specification is new as well: there was previously a 50i, but this one has been breathed upon by BMW Motorsport.
It’s not quite the full X6 M product (yes, that is a thing), but it is still oozing power and dripping with high technology.
Where do we start? The smooth, sonorous twin-turbo V8 propels it to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds in a remarkably elasticated style.
The chassis comes as standard with adaptive suspension and four-wheel-steering; the M50i is not especially light on its feet, but it is incredibly fluid if you simply keep your eyes on the horizon and stop trying to throw it around.
Despite the sloping roof, rear-seat space is still adult-appropriate. The boot is 70l smaller than the sister X5, but it’s still 580l.
And let’s face it, if people and/or load carrying was your thing you probably wouldn’t buy an X6 to start with. Other BMW SUVs are available.
The cabin styling is a lot more traditional than Mercedes-Benz’s rival GLE, but that’s a deliberate decision and the X6 is certainly no less techy or luxurious.
Now we’ve got all the grown-up stuff out of the way, let me tell you the best/worst feature of the X6 M50i. That monster grille glows in the dark – not in a metaphorical sense, but in a BMW-has-actually-illuminated-it sense.
That’ll either make you swoon or send you running away screaming. Either response is perfectly appropriate.
BREAK IT DOWN
BMW X6 M50i
ENGINE: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic, AWD