BMW X6 M Competition

By | March 28, 2024

BMW X6 M Competition 2020 road test review – hero front

BMW’s M division has been actively hinting at the introduction of electric propulsion for some time, but clearly thinks that the traditional combustion engine still has quite a life left in it – as evidenced by the launch of the new BMW X6 M, the German car’s most powerful and the manufacturer’s fastest accelerating production SUV model to date.

BMW’s new performance SUV builds on the several strengths of the already highly capable BMW X6 M50i, which was launched in Britain late last year. It also shares its mechanical package with the arguably less flashy but more versatile BMW X5 M, alongside which it is assembled at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the US state of South Carolina.

But instead of equipping the . As standard, the powerful petrol engine, which uses a cross-bank manifold, M’s twin Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic’s fully variable valve timing to give it a high-revving character, delivers a meaningful 592 hp. However, thanks to various electronic mappings and other unspecified changes, it gains a further 24bhp, bringing the output of the Competition model sold in Britain to 616bhp at 6000rpm. In both cases, torque peaks at 552 Nm between 1800 rpm and 5800 rpm.

This gives the new flagship X6 about 49 hp more than its predecessor and a solid 93 hp more than the X6 M50i. For even more perspective, it’s also 74bhp more than that of the Porsche Cayenne Coupé Turbo and 24bhp more than that of the Audi RS Q8 – both of which use the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine in varying states of maintenance. to coordinate.

Drive is routed via an eight-speed automatic transmission with torque converter and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to an M xDrive all-wheel drive system that accommodates an M differential to distribute drive individually to the rear wheels. Together they are designed to give the X6 M a clear rear-wheel drive character. In the words of M: “It only brings the front wheels into action when the rear wheels can no longer transmit power to the road and extra traction is needed.”

Suspension changes from the to suppress. Standard wheels are 21 inches at the front and 22 inches at the rear, with 295/35 ZR21 and beefy 315/30 ZR22 tires respectively.

How does the X6 M perform on the road?

If you’re looking for finesse, it’s best to look elsewhere in the M lineup. While the X6 M is attractive, its driving appeal isn’t exactly based on its delicate steering. Rather, it’s the brutal nature of its power delivery and the ability of its gearbox and all-wheel drive to channel its reserves into any of the various driving modes on the road that make it so memorable.

The M5’s powerplant provides the new BMW SUV with the kind of relentless energy only associated with a select group of top supercars, as evidenced by the official 0-100 km/h time of just 3.8 seconds.

Don’t forget to select the M Driver’s Package option when you order so you can also boast a top speed of 300 km/h. Additionally, in the most powerful driving mode, the Competition model emits a delightful baritone exhaust note that growls with anger when driven over.

The enormous grip of the new M model is supported by the monumental grip. Although it tips the scales at 2295kg, the X6 M’s ability to string together a series of corners at speed is quite astonishing. You feel how the drive is transferred between the front and rear axles, as the M xDrive system and the M differential work together to find an optimal purchase. And even with a rated ground clearance of 213mm it remains reassuringly flat, with only moderate body roll in all but the most aggressive changes of direction.

The steering is typical of recent M models, with an unnecessary amount of resistance at low speeds and, despite being quick and direct, almost a complete lack of meaningful feedback at higher speeds on public roads. In everyday driving, the X6 M is as easy to live with as other new You’d really have to love the big BMW to put up with the constant harshness.

Inside, the cabin is nicely designed, of sufficiently high perceived quality for the price and quite spacious up front, even if the boot, rated at 580 litres, falls short of absolute cargo capacity. The exterior changes also ensure that the most powerful third-generation X6 model immediately stands out from its smaller siblings, giving the SUV coupe a determinedly aggressive stance.

Many will see it as a dinosaur – the last of the breed with pure combustion engines. And yet it’s hard not to admire M’s engineering achievements in creating the X6 M.

Yes, it’s pricey – around £17,780 more than the arguably more rounded X6 M50i. But maybe you’re just looking at a future classic – 284g/km CO2 and all that.


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