Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BMW X6 2011


In straight line, this BMW X6 can outrun a Porsche Boxster in a way that no 2.2-tonne vehicle should. This ludicrously names BMW X6 xDrive 50i (yes, that’s the full model designation) puts a convincing amount of dirty air between its high tail and the Porsche’s low snout.

There aren’t many tall, 4WD cars weighing as much as 2,190kg that feel as agile as the X6. The X6’s optional active steering (it increases assistance and speeds up the rack at low speeds, while reducing assistance and applied lock at higher speeds) is accurate and has fantastic feel. In ‘Sport’ mode, the adaptive drive system swivels the anti-roll bars and adjusts damper rates, so there’s almost no body roll and keeps the X6 supremely stable through corners. You can throw the X6 through corners, the massive 315 rear tyres claw into the tarmac, the xDrive and the new differential sorting out any mid-corner traction issues you might have. It’s a BMW after all.

Keep your foot down and it will close in on its 250kph (limited) top speed with the ferocity of a Great white Shark, all the while covering ground at an incredible pace. The gearbox is quick and very obedient, downshifting almost every time we asked it to. The X6’s party trick is its exhaust system. In the 750Li this engine has to be restrained, but in the sporty X6’s it can afford to be more vocal. It idles with a distant hint of an American V8, sounds like a hairy-chested gorilla at part-throttle, and hones in on a refined howl as it closes in on 6700rpm. It’s never ‘public-nuisance’ loud, but its vocal range makes driving through tunnels a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Part of the