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First drive: 2010 BMW X6M

Does BMW's first performance crossover live up to M-Series expectations?

by on Jul.09, 2009

For the first time, BMW is bolting the M badge to one of its crossovers, the 2010 X6M

For the first time, BMW is bolting the M badge to one of its crossovers, the 2010 X6M

Few new products have done more to polarize potential buyers than the BMW X6.  Neither sports car nor sport-ute, it boasts a design that you either love or hate.

In terms of luxury features, it’s easier to agree that the X6 delivers pretty much all you could expect of a premium crossover vehicle, except perhaps performance.  Apparently, in the muscle category, the folks at BMW itself felt there was a need to beef up the X6, and for that they have turned to their performance arm, BMW M GmbH.

On paper, the numbers looks good: a walloping 555 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque, and 0-60 times of just 4.6 seconds.  But there’s another figure that is likely to ignite still more controversy.  The standard-issue X6 wasn’t exactly the lightest of products, at roughly 5,000 pounds, something that already ran afoul of BMW’s stated philosophy of decreasing fuel consumption and CO2 emission.  The X6M?  It weighs in at a whopping 5,324 lbs, pushing it into Hummer territory.

So how does BMW avoid being accused of hypocrisy?  By using an all-new downsized 4.4-liter V-8.  Here, less means more, considering the X6M’s raw power.  But that raises yet another concern.

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