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Thread: X6 has that X factor

  1. #1
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    Default X6 has that X factor

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Life%252...ry_258969.html

    July 19, 2008

    The beauty of the beast

    The BMW X6 may look like a hulking mutant of a car, but it drives like a dream in every situation

    By Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent


    COUPE OR SUV?: With its massive body and bulbous nose, the X6 looks like the Quasimodo of BMWs. Thank goodness for its brilliant drivetrain. -- PHOTO: LEE NIAN TJOE

    THE BMW X6 might just qualify as one of the silliest cars ever made.

    A coupe crossed with an SUV, indeed. Why not mate a gazelle with an elephant while you're at it?

    At first glance, the elephantine SUV genes prevail here, resulting in a mountain of a car. The X6 is larger than the Porsche Cayenne in every aspect and will completely eclipse its own sibling, the X5.

    Its massiveness overwhelms and confounds you at the same time. The confounding starts when you open the door to get in.

    You have to be a limbo rocker to climb onboard comfortably. Its coupe aspirations have resulted in a wind-swept roofline (read: low). But its SUV stance necessitates a high seating position.

    To get in without bending like a contortionist, you should lower the seat. Then, you'd have to raise it once you're seated, or you would not be able to see where the car's bulbous nose ends and the bumper of another car begins.

    And for such a big car, it seats only four - and with limited headroom for rear occupants (wind-swept roofline). BMW says this is in keeping with the coupe theme. Good thing it did not go the whole hog and leave out two doors.

    In keeping with the SUV theme, it has a cavernous stowage, with underfloor space for even more stuff.

    Given the global energy situation, the thing that is most senseless about the X6 is its disregard for efficiency. True, it is lighter and thriftier than a similar Cayenne, but that's like saying Moses Lim is slimmer than a yokozuna sumo.

    The car's design (if you can call it that) is another thing. The American-made Beemer is not easy on the eye. Still, it is hard to ignore the car - just as it is hard to ignore Godzilla out for an evening stroll.

    The car's only redeeming quality lies in the way it moves. It is amazingly poised and swift, even when compared with other BMWs. So much so that if you are lulled into ignoring its poor driver visibility, and brushing its sheer senselessness under the carpet, the X6 is absolutely endearing.

    The 3.0-litre version (senselessly named xDrive35i) has a gem of an engine. It is the same twin-turbo straight six found in the 335i coupe and cabriolet.

    Although it seems ill-matched, the power plant does a beautiful job of hauling the beast. At the wheel, and at your feet, it feels effortless, with torque that flows with certainty and fluidity.

    The output is transmitted to all four wheels (more to the rear) with lip-smacking creaminess. Noise, vibration and harshness levels fall well within what you would expect of a well-built limo.

    The drivetrain is so good, it should be made available in all BMWs.

    What makes the X6 even more driveable is its extraordinary sure-footedness, thanks to Dynamic Performance Control. The system works like traction control - in reverse.

    Instead of cutting power or applying brakes to the driving wheel which is in danger of slipping, it pushes out more torque to the opposite wheel to improve overall grip. A digital display shows the amount of torque going to each rear wheel.

    The system comes to play brilliantly in fast bends. You can actually power through with more grace and predictability. Combined with Active Steering (optional), the test car traces the tightest lines with ease. In fact, it feels somewhat like a well-sorted coupe around corners.

    Come to think of it, there is no SUV or crossover-type vehicle that can match the X6 on this score. And you have to hand it to BMW for achieving that. In every situation, the car dances like Fred Astaire (even if it reminds you of Quasimodo).

    At the helm, BMW has included knee pads fore of the centre console. For a car with so much handling flair and so much usable torque, you will be needing them. Thoughtful.

    Pity the thought process for the entire car is a little suspect. Perhaps in the Land of the Giants, where Ford Expeditions, huge Hummers and gargantuan GMC truck-vans rule, the X6 is as wholesome as apple pie.

    But in most other places, it is, at best, an acquired taste.

    So, if you have a penchant for the eclectic, and you consider yourself nimble like a beanstalk (but not necessarily as green), check it out.

    Whatever your eyes tell you, rest assured that this big car is one of the best-driving cars money can buy.

    [email protected]


    BMW X6 XDRIVE35I

    Price: $293,800 with COE
    Engine: 2,979cc twin-turbo 24-valve inline-6
    Transmission: Six-speed automatic with paddle shift
    Power: 306bhp at 5,800rpm
    Torque: 400Nm at 1,300-5,000rpm
    0-100kmh: 6.7 seconds
    Top speed: 240kmh
    Fuel consumption: 16.6 litres/100km (city)
    Agent: Performance Motors

  2. #2
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    Default X6 has that X factor

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...90530,00.html?

    Published August 2, 2008

    X6 has that X factor


    A HIPPO in high heels would look less incongruous. The new BMW X6 is a big all-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle based on the current X5 but has what the German luxury carmaker calls 'coupe' styling.

    The X6 is termed a Sports Activity Coupe. But instead of the low-slung, two-door model most people associate the word 'coupe' with, this vehicle is a four-door SUV with a beefy body and a small greenhouse - a bit like a muscle-bound bruiser with a tiny head.

    But get past the visual confusion and the X6 should impress you with its drive. A BMW can usually be counted on to come with good handling - and the X6 is particularly competent. Apart from the optional Active Steering - which varies the steering angle according to the car's speed and is so good you rarely have to take your hands off the wheel - there is something new: Dynamic Performance Control (DPC).

    This varies the power between the left and right rear wheels and aims to allow you to steer the X6 with greater control and precision. Like a limited slip differential, DPC distributes the drive flexibly between the two back wheels so that if the X6 is in a bend, more drive is directed to the outer wheel, thus making the vehicle turn better into the corner. Up to 100 per cent of the torque can be transferred to one wheel. Oversteer and understeer can also be counteracted with DPC.

    Together with xDrive - an intelligent four-wheel-drive system that distributes torque to the front or rear axle almost instantaneously depending on road conditions - the bulky X6 provides a remarkably agile drive. It may be 1.7m tall and weigh 2,150kg, but this car is as nimble and neutral as a sports sedan in a sweeping curve.

    The Adaptive Drive feature - a $12,380 option - makes the X6 even sharper. Active stabilisers in front and at the back reduce body roll. With its classic BMW steering - well-weighted and accurate - and its ergonomic wheel-mounted paddle shifts, the X6 is a joy to drive.

    And all this is achieved while sitting as high as a lorry driver. To enter the X6, you have to step up and into the car. There are only two seats at the back and because of the fastback design, anyone taller than six feet may find the headliner a bit too close.

    The cabin also has some quirky details, like the stacked air-vents and a single knee pad. There is a leather knee pad on the lower centre console for better lateral grip, but it does not come with a corresponding one on the other side of the driver.

    The X6 xDrive35i is powered by the turbocharged three-litre straight-six engine first seen in the 335i. The car may be huge, but in combination with the aforementioned mechanical elements, this smooth power plant can still offer an entertaining drive. Never mind its appearance; the X6 certainly has that X factor.

    BMW X6 xDrive35i

    Engine: 2,979cc inline-6 turbocharged
    Gearbox: 6-speed automatic transmission
    Max power: 306 hp @ 5,800-6,250 rpm
    Max torque: 400 Nm @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
    0-100 kmh: 6.7 secs
    Top speed: 240 kmh
    Price: $293,800 (with COE)
    Distributor: Performance Motors, tel 6319-0100

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    Why never feature X6 xDrive50i? The 4.4T V8 is cool!

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