BMW X6 M launched early last month during an international event at the Road America track in Atlanta. We were there to first report our impressions on the first Sports Activity Vehicle Motorsport model from BMW.
While most of the test driving there took place on the track, we’re anxiously waiting to see how the car handles on the road.
The fellows at Car and Driver got their hands on a press car prototype and took it through a few test drives, from a drag race to a track and onto off-road.
Ironmein: We subject BMW’s latest M-spawned monster to a triathlon and find that 555 horsepower can change opinions about fat SUVs
Triathlon Event No. 1: Drag Racing
BMW swore that our X6 M was a burgundy cannonball in a straight line, so our first competition was run-whatcha-brung night at nearby Milan Dragway. This event held great appeal, inasmuch as almost nothing is required of the driver, apart from those long, hot waits in the staging lanes, where most racers place bags of ice on their intake manifolds and fiddle with hot Holleys and push their cars by hand so that the engines remain cool. Not us. We idled for 20 minutes at a crack, with the A/C blasting, seat fans at max blow, seat massagers silently unkinking thigh muscles, and Steve Tormé—Velvet Fog fils—singing “Straighten Up and Fly Right” out of 11 speakers surrounded by “Merino” leather, which perhaps comes from Miami dolphins.
Our X6 M was a prototype and wasn’t equipped with launch control, which will be standard on production models and will likely improve acceleration times by a couple 10ths. So, before each run, it was necessary to program the X6 M for take-no-prisoners mode. I first had to press the minuscule “M” button on the steering wheel that was programmed to disable most of the stability control, then up popped a menu on the nav screen on which I had to toggle through “Settings,” “M Drive,” “Power Sport,” and “Power Sport” again (because the only alternative is “Efficient,” which is not a term anyone would ever use to describe my driving). After all that, of course, I’d worked up quite a sweat, so I had a sip of cool iced tea stored in the center console and calmed my nerves by eating three tasty digestive biscuits.