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New tri-turbo BMW X6 lands in SA

BMW

Loved by some and deemed pointless by others, the BMW X6 has earned itself a rightful place in the controversial BMW basket alongside the 2002 7 Series and others.

Despite the moaning, this crossover that thinks it's a coupé has still exceeded BMW's sales expectations and now it's been treated to a mid-life nip and tuck. While these latest models have been on the local price list since April, the first units have just arrived in South Africa.

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Styling changes to this crazy crossover have been kept to a minium.

MONSTER DIESEL

While the exterior design mods are subtle, the big excitement comes in the form of a monster diesel model with three turbos. As part of BMW's M Performance wing that slots below the traditional M Division, the new M50d's tri-turbo six-cylinder motor is credited with 280kW but the real talking point is its 740Nm torque output. According to BMW you can expect a 5.3 second 0-100km/h sprint and (when driven sedately) average fuel consumption of 7.7 l/100km.

At the other end of the compression ignition spectrum is BMW's 225kW/600Nm 3-litre that's badged 40d and those with a penchant for petrol can opt for a 225kW/400Nm straight-six 35i, 300kW/600Nm V8 50i or the 408kW/680Nm M Division maniac for which there exists a definite soft spot within IOL's offices despite the fact that it is probably one of the most pointless vehicles on the planet.

While the latter is fitted with a six-speed M Sport autobox, the rest of the engines in the X6 range are mated to a new eight-speed sports automatic transmission. Naturally, all models have xDrive permanent all-wheel drive.

SPOT THE CHANGES

As for the design changes - although it's not easy to spot the differences, BMW talks about “precisely modified details” at the front, including higher-mounted fog lights, redesigned 'kidney grille' and optional LED headlights (bi-xenons are standard).

New LED taillights are standard though. Rounding off the changes that you can see are a new range of exterior paints, 19-inch alloy wheels and the option of Vermilion Red interior leather.

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As before, and as much as this sounds like a joke, you still have to tick the options book to get a three-seat rear bench instead of two bucket seats.

Since you're opting for such a mad means of transport, you might as well go all the way with BMW's M Sport package, which brings 20-inch M alloys, BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, M door sill cover strips and various M division-style interior components, including an Alcantara/Nappa leather trim combination.

The new X6 is also bang up to date on the gadgets front, offering smart phone and music player integration and a glut of available driver assistance systems like Lane Departure warning, Speed Limit Info, a camera that offers side, rear and top views and a head-up display.

PRICES

xDrive 35i - R800 418

xDrive 40d - R853 669

xDrive 50i - R993 206

M50d - R1 064 182

X6 M - R 1 398 528

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