Motor Trend revisits the powerful, yet controversial BMW X6 M. The first BMW M to launch with an xDrive (more are rumored in the future) came to market in 2009 along with its twin-brother, the X5 M, and it has proven to be a great seller in some parts of the world, including Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
In the U.S. sales have been satisfactory and the X6 M came to compete in a niche with the also powerful Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. We first had the opportunity to drive the X6 M back at the Road Atlanta race track in summer of 2009.
MotorTrend delivers a fun and insightful review, and here is an excerpt from it:
“A BMW executive takes a large lump of money and a small lump of hallucinogens and hands both to a group of engineers with the following instruction: “Go nuts.” Sometime later — after the passing of key statutes of limitations — the BMW X6 M appears.
The hulking and incredibly fast red aberration you see here provides a rolling look into their madness. The engine, for example. BMW has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, but these engineers figured 400 horsepower simply wouldn’t do. So on went new pistons, camshafts, turbochargers, and a modified cooling system, amongst other things. The engineers finally settled on 555 horsepower, a number so convenient they might as well have called it “enough.” They then programmed in a launch control system, because what good is a 5181-pound SUV if it can’t accelerate like a Cadillac CTS-V?
“Wait a second,” you might think. “What about the Cayenne Turbo?” Yes, both are monstrously silly, twin-turbo SUVs. But lo, the BMW is quicker. Reaching 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 110.8 mph, the X6 M dismisses that comparatively sensible Porsche by three-tenths. How? With the transmission in manual mode, all that’s required from the BMW driver is that they press the inconspicuous “M” button on the steering wheel and flatfoot both pedals. And when the checkered flag appears on the dash, they sidestep the brake. As the all-wheel drive jettisons the X6 M from its place of rest, the transmission takes care of the upshifts — the driver is merely along for the ride. (Helpfully, the owner’s manual suggests that you not use launch control when towing a trailer.)”