What is it?
The most powerful diesel version of the new X6 – BMW’s attempt to cross a sportscar with an off-roader. Put simply, the X6 defies all the well managed marketing logic car makers traditionally pride themselves on.
Most significantly, the X6 acts as a platform for the introduction of some of BMW’s most interesting mechanical developments in years – including a new traction enhancing torque vectoring system that’s set to appear in all of BMW’s four-wheel drive models in future years.
The range-topping diesel version will be far more popular in the UK than the thirsty 50i V8 petrol version. It uses the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine that has already appeared in the X5, with 286bhp and 427lb ft of torque. It’s not as quick as the petrol V8, but with a 6.9sec 0-62mph time and a 147mph top speed it’s still one of the quickest SUVs yet.
What’s it like?
BMW projects that only 10 per cent of British X6 customers will choose a petrol-powered version, with the two diesel engines constituting the overwhelming majority of sales.
And, on the evidence of the 35d version, it’s not hard to see why – this is a truly amazing powerplant. Peak torque arrives at just 1750rpm and the standard-fit six-speed automatic gearbox provides near-seamless drive. The steering-wheel mounted selection paddles also allow the ‘box to put in a decent impression of a sequential manual if the mood takes you.