BMW was one of the first brands to embrace the idea of a big, hulking, performance SUV with the original X5 M and X6 M. Since then, the recipe has been the same: monster twin-turbo V8, automatic transmission, all-wheel drive. It’s a formula every performance SUV maker uses but it’s one that’s also about to die. The BMW X6 M facelift you see in these new spy photos is one of the very last of its kind.
After this generation of BMW X6 M, there isn’t going to be another gasoline-powered version. Instead, BMW is going to switch to fully electric powertrains for its next generation of high-performance SUVs. It will start with the next-gen X3 M, followed by the X5/X6 M. So if you like your performance SUVs with big, stonking V8s, then get this one while you can.
When the X6 M LCI facelift debuts, it’s going to pack the same S68 engine that’s found in the XM, X7 M60i and 760i, except it will make over 600 horsepower. In the XM, it makes 650 horsepower when combined with an electric motor but don’t expect that much power out of the X6 M. Instead, expect around 620 horses, without any real electric assistance. The S68 is a 48-volt mild hybrid on its own but that really doesn’t add any meaningful power. However, it will be significantly more powerful than the aforementioned X7 and 7 Series.
In terms of visual changes, there won’t be many. These spy photos show off a new rear bumper but expect little else outside of that, at least on the exterior. Inside, there were be a few noteworthy changes, such as the switch to iDrive 8 and its accompanying dual-screen wraparound panel. That means it will also get BMW’s new digital gauges, which are improved but still lacking in some areas, compared to the competition. It should also get BMW’s new little toggle switch shifter, which is nice in an SUV, as it frees up center console space.
Fans of the BMW X6 M might be sad to see the V8 die but an electric version will probably be better. The X6 M’s V8 itself was never the reason to like the car. Instead, it was the manic performance it brought and electric motors will bring even more performance. So when the time comes, we shouldn’t be too sad. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t cherish big, silly, V8 powered cars while we still can.
[Source: Wilco Blok]