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New BMW X6 - it's still eccentric

By: IOL Motoring Staff

Munich, Germany - The X6 is the BMW that many either love to hate or hate to love.

There might not be much of a point to this coupé-inspired crossover, yet its fans - and there are at least 250 000 of them according to sales figures - clearly find its cool factor impossible to resist.

Those sentiments are not likely to change for the second generation, which BMW has just revealed. It's a simple yet progressive evolution of the first X6, sporting a more modern interpretation of the eye-catching wedge-shaped side profile. From the front end it closely resembles the latest X5 upon which it's based, with a pair of bi-xenon headlights (adaptive LEDs are optional) extending into a wide kidney grille.

19-inch alloys are standard on the new X6, but there is a range of 20-inch options available for those wanting a king-sized footprint. Buyers can also go to town with the styling with equipment packages like the familiar 'M Sport' offering or the new 'Design Pure Extravagance' option.

There's a whole range of powerful engines available for those who's idea of extravagance lies beneath the right pedal.

At the top of the performance pile is the 330kW/650Nm 4.4-litre V8 turbopetrol found under the bonnet of the xDrive50i. Not only has this monster motor gained 30kW, allowing a claimed 4.8-second 0-100km/h sprint, but it's also said to be 22 percent more economical than its predecessor, although we'll take BMW's 9.7 l/100km claim under advisement.

However, those seeking a more economical alternative - and we're speaking in relative terms here - can opt for the M50d without giving up too much in the way of performance. Its tri-turbo six-cylinder diesel motor pushes 280kW and 740Nm and allegedly gets the M50d to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds. Claimed fuel consumption has been reduced by 14 percent to 6.6 l/100km. There is a more sensible option, though, for this not-so-sensible car. The xDrive30d delivers 190kW/560Nm and sips 6.0 l/100km. Before the middle of 2015, BMW will expand the range with a 225kW xDrive35i petrol model and a 230kW xDrive40d diesel.

All engines are mated to an eight-speed sports automatic transmission with launch control, which feeds BMW's permanently active xDrive all-wheel drive system. Buyers seeking a cushier ride can opt for an air suspension system for the rear axle.

In fact, the X6 will be offered with a whole glut of options, from high-end navigation right through to Bang & Olufsen sound, Driving Assistant Plus with Traffic Jam Assistant, Parking Assistant with Surround View as well as various ConnectedDrive services and Online Entertainment.

South African specifications and prices will be announced closer to the February 2015 on-sale date.

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