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BMW announces new X6 sports SUV

Almost a decade ago, BMW took the step of blending the attributes of a 4×4 with a coupe, and a new category of car was born: the Sports Activity Coupe. Now, with a refreshed design, updated powertrain and chassis technology, new equipment features, innovative operating tech and driver assistance systems, a new second-generation X6 has been launched.

The new BMW X6 will celebrate its world premiere at the IAA Cars 2019 international motor show in Frankfurt in September. The market launch will follow in December 2019.

The new BMW X6 is 26mm longer than the outgoing model (to 4,935mm) and 15mm wider (to 2,004 mm) in width. It stands 6mm lower (at 1,696mm) with a wider front track (+44mm to 1,684 mm). The car’s wheelbase has increased by 42mm to 2,975 millimetres, and the new model also has a lower centre of gravity than its predecessor.

Three model variants
The new BMW X6 is available from launch in three model variants: Sport, M Sport and M Performance. Standard equipment on the Sport version includes Adaptive two-axle air suspension, a Sport leather steering wheel and aluminium detailing. The M Sport model is distinct in that it features a dynamic design angle to the front and rear aprons. It also features the side window graphic in High-gloss Black, wheel arch trim painted in body colour, an M Sport exhaust system and M Sport brakes with blue-painted callipers. From start of production, M carbon exterior mirror caps and a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic rear spoiler are available as optional extras.

The M Sport also adds the aerodynamics package along with the M Sport steering wheel and M-specific pedals. It also includes the BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, exclusive Aluminium Tetragon interior trim strips and an anthracite BMW Individual headliner. Interior trim strips in M Carbon Fibre are available as an option.

The M Performance model adds M Bicolour Cerium grey exterior trims, M Sport differential, Adaptive M suspension, M Seat belts and a Harman Kardon surround sound system.

For even more personalisation,high-quality options from BMW Individual include special BMW paint finishes and 22-inch BMW Individual light alloy wheels. Extended BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim completes the BMW Individual offering.

The line-up of engines from launch includes two petrol units and a pair of diesel variants from the latest generation. Topping the X6 range is the BMW X6 M50i powered by a newly developed petrol V8, while the BMW X6 M50d features a six-cylinder in-line diesel engine and four turbochargers. The BMW X6 xDrive40i and BMW X6 xDrive30d are powered by a straight six petrol and straight-six diesel respectively, while all models come as standard with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.

Maximum power for the BMW X6 xDrive30d is at 261 bhp while peak torque is 442 ft lb. The zero to 62mph benchmark sprint is achieved in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 143mph. The xDrive 30d will achieve an average fuel consumption of 42.8-46.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 172-159g/km.

The range-topper in the diesel line-up is the 394 bhp BMW X6 M50d with 561 ft lb peak torque. It’ll take 5.2 seconds to get to 62mph and its top speed it set at 155mph. Average fuel consumption is 39.2-40.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 190-181g/km.

BMW xDrive
In particularly dynamic driving situations, the intelligent all-wheel-drive system has a rear-wheel bias. In situations that do not require all-wheel drive, power can be channelled entirely to the rear wheels in the interests of efficiency. The car’s sporting attributes are aided by the electronically controlled M differential lock at the rear axle available either individually as an option or as part of M Sport specification to deliver exceptional handling. Added to which, the controlled locking function for the rear differential maximises traction and increases the car’s ability to put down its power on rough ground. A feature of the optional xOffroad package, it also optimises traction on roads where grip levels vary between the right and left rear wheels by preventing a wheel with insufficient grip from spinning.

The new BMW X6 is available with two-axle air suspension including automatic self-levelling. Thanks to the link up with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, the vehicle load registered by the air suspension’s sensors can also be factored into braking. The car’s height can be altered at the touch of a button in the cockpit and the driver can choose from five different modes. For example, the driver is also able to adjust the body’s ground clearance for off-road driving to a maximum 40mm above the standard setting. Another button lowers the car by 40mm below the default height in preparation for loading or unloading items. The height of the X6 above the ground can therefore be varied through up to 80mm making it significantly easier to get in and out of the car and to load and unload items from the boot. The desired vehicle ride height can also be set with the engine switched off and using the optional BMW Display Key.

The new BMW X6 is offered with an off-road package as an option and this can be identified by its rugged underguard elements at the front end. The xOffroad package includes two-axle air suspension and an electronically controlled rear differential lock to offer four driving modes: snow, sand, gravel or rocks. At the press of a button, drivers can activate the ideal settings for the vehicle’s ride height, the xDrive system, the transmission control and the DSC system’s corrective inputs. Accelerator response also adapts to the driving mode selected.

Driver assistance systems
Standard specification for the new BMW X6 includes Cruise Control with braking function as well as Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function that alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go is available as an option. This system dictates that the maximum time that can pass between the car stopping and setting off again automatically is now 30 seconds, making the driver’s life that extra bit more comfortable. The speed limits detected by the Speed Limit Info traffic sign recognition system including No Passing Info display can be incorporated into the system’s automatic speed modulation, with a pre-set adjustment of up to 9mph.

Drive Recorder
As part of the optional Parking Assistant Plus, the Drive Recorder feature is included. This function uses the cameras of the driver assistance systems to record video footage from different points around the vehicle, before storing the recordings so they can be either watched later on the Control Display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port. Recordings can be up to 40 seconds in length, comprising the 20 seconds of video saved immediately prior to the Drive Recorder being activated and the next 20 seconds. The Drive Recorder can be started at any time from the iDrive menu. In the event of a collision, the 20 seconds up to the moment of impact and the next 20 seconds are automatically recorded and saved.

BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant
The new BMW X6 comes with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, an intelligent digital character who responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. It helps the driver, learns their habits and is familiar with their favoured settings – e.g. for the seat heating or the places they drive to frequently using the navigation system. One unique feature compared with other digital assistants of this type is the option of giving the system a name that’s personal to the driver.

The assistant’s integration into Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business transforms the BMW X6 into a mobile office and enables the ability to join teleconferences at the driver’s request. The BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant is also an entertainment expert, too. For example, it can quickly seek out suitable radio stations for the desired music genre.

The range of functions and skills available will be constantly expanded as part of updates, which can be carried out seamlessly on a smartphone and in-car by Remote Software Upgrade.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is included as standard in the new BMW X6 – along with the Live Cockpit Professional – as part of the new BMW Operating System 7.0.

BMW Operating System 7.0
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional in the new BMW X6 combines a new display and operating concept. It includes a high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches and a 12.3-inch Control Display. This BMW Live Cockpit Professional also features an adaptive navigation system and a hard-drive-based multimedia system, along with two USB ports plus Bluetooth and WiFi.

The car’s built-in SIM card provides gives the driver access to vehicle apps such as news, weather, office and online search and allows the navigation system’s maps to be updated regularly. It also enables use of Intelligent Emergency Call, which automatically summons swift assistance in an emergency.

The latest generation of the display and operating system offers fully digital displays and is geared even more closely to the driver’s personal needs with the aim of offering more capacity for personalisation. In the main menu on the Control Display, the driver is able to create and configure up to ten pages, each showing two to four pads (tiles) with live content. Depending on the situation, the driver can choose from the iDrive Controller, the steering wheel controls, the Control Display’s touch control, voice control and BMW gesture control.

As part of BMW Live Cockpit Professional the new BMW X6 includes a host of connected services as standard, Emergency Call and Teleservices for the lifetime of the vehicle, Over-the-air and USB map updates, BMW App connectivity and Intelligent Voice assistants. In addition to this we see the introduction of the BMW Connected Package Professional as standard. This features services drivers are accustomed to, such as Remote Services, Real Time Traffic Information, with the addition of Concierge Services, Apple CarPlay Preparation, On-Street Parking Information, Connected Navigation and Intelligent Vehicle Functionality, which learns driver’s habits and learns rules. These services are included for three years from build and are renewable via the ConnectedDrive Store thereafter.

Apple CarPlay Preparation will be included for one year from build, but then renewable via the BMW ConnectedDrive portal thereafter, at either one year, three years or lifetime subscriptions.

The smartphone as digital key
Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, customers can lock and unlock their car using their smartphone. Accessible via the BMW Connected app, the driver can hold selected smartphones up to the door handle and open the car. The engine can then be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the wireless charging or smartphone tray. The BMW Digital Key can be shared with up to five other people.

Remote Software Upgrade
Upgrades can be loaded onto a smartphone via the BMW Connected app when connected to a domestic WiFi network or imported directly via the BMW’s built-in SIM card, which happens automatically for important vehicle upgrades.

The new BMW X6 is available to order now with prices starting from £59,340.

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