Updated: Confirmed by BMW through a press release

Back in 2010, we reported on the BMW X6 being offered in the future with a 3-seat rear bench. Nearly a year later, Skiddmark confirms our initial assumptions. Starting from April 2011, BMW X6 will be offered with a rear bench increasing the number of X6 occupants to five.

Currently, BMW fitted the Sports Activity Coupe with a pair of rear buckets divided by a study center console with a cubby and cupholders.

The rear seats are currently only capable of accommodating two passengers, since the large rear center console is not removable. While the bucket seats are comfortable and supportive, legroom and headroom feel a bit cramped.

While not officially confirmed Confirmed by BMW also, Skiddmark mentions that the process of moving to a 3-seat rear bench has not been a simple one. The X6′s rear compartment was specifically designed for two and the bench height positioned to optimize the passenger’s view forwards whilst minimizing obstruction to the drivers’ view through the rear window.

Interesting enough, the UK publications says “due to the significant changes required to accommodate the three-seat rear bench, BMW’s X6 will no longer be available in its original 4-seater configuration.”

But back in 2010, Jim O’Donnell, BMWNA CEO said the following:

The X6 has surpassed our expectations–double what we originally thought in terms of segment share. We’re closing in on 100,000 vehicles in two years. We only offered it with two rear seats, and we have changed that and will offer an optional bench seat, but not in the 2011 model year. We would have sold more cars if we had the bench–it will be 70 percent of the volume. The consumer wanted that, and we thought he didn’t.

For the 2011 X6 models, the original way to operate the shift paddles returns, exactly like the ones in M cars. When manual operation of the eight-speed sport automatic is chosen, the right paddle shift the gears up while the left paddle is now for downshifts. Other changes include upgrades to the ConnecteDrive System and the addition of BMW Apps.

The addition of an optional 3-seat rear bench will most likely make its way into the usual facelifted model that is released mid-way into the production cycle.

[Source: Skiddmark ]