2020 BMW X6 M 50i First Drive: Active, Sporty, and Gifted

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Experienced by Kimatni D Rawlins

Whether it’s a letter M car or X utility vehicle, there seems to be no limit to the innovation, technologies, and driving pleasures instilled in the latest BMWs on the market. In this case, the 2020 X6 M 50i Sports Activity Coupe (SAC), now in its 3rd generation, continues to evolve with advanced safety systems, performance innovations, and practical functionality. From enhanced iDrive software to updated engines, the newest X6 will amaze both newcomers to the X-line and invigorate current BMW loyalists when it arrives in the spring of 2020.

Crossover vehicles with coupe profiles are anomalies in the automotive industry, especially models that can leave the road and venture into the wild. This is the case with the X6 M, which I have simultaneously torched the track in, and taken off-road utilizing 2nd generation models during prior visits to the 137-acre BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, SC. But, now, the SAC is three times its former self.

BMW X6M

But you’ll have to pay to play for the top X6 performers. My Manhattan Green Metallic 2020 BMW X6 M50i topped out at $99,645 ($85,650 MSRP), while the 600-horsepower X6 M (the true M) with the same 600-horsepower twin-turbocharged S63 V8 engine as the M8 goes for $108,600. Lastly, the 617-horsepower X6 M Competition rolls in at $117,600. The new line also includes the 335-horsepower sDrive40i and xDrive40i, which start from $64,300 if your focus is on efficiency and not gunning it from light to light on each errand.

The X activities took place during BMW Group Test Fest at the performance facility, which features 2.3-miles of track, a BMW M School, educational Teen Schools, and an off-road course where you can navigate BMW X vehicles over tough terrains. Besides the X6 M50i I focused on, BMW also made available the X3e, X5e, X7 M50i, X5 M50i, X3 M Competition, and the X4 M Competition to test drive. As you can see, consumers can choose between smart, electric X vehicles to track-ready hyperactive utilities. It’s your world when it comes to Bavarian machinery.

BMW builds an X derivative for each consumer type from X1 to X7 without missing a numeral in-between. So, if you fancy large 7-passenger Sport Activity Vehicles (SAV), then the X7 is the choice, but young couples who make frequent trips to the pet shop, Walmart, and Target may be looking at an X4. To get a better understanding of the build quality of these SAVs and SACs, I was also able to tour the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg, where the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7 models are produced. BMW pumps out 1,500 vehicles a day — 70% are exported globally to 140 countries — in an environment that I am happy to say is diverse with a high percentage of female and minority employees. Since opening the factory 25 years ago, BMW has brought economic growth, thousands of jobs, and fresh new infrastructure to the area. Currently, 10,000 people are employed at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg.

The chiseled bodywork, along with the Aero kit of the X6 M50i, looks athletic. It moves athletically too due to the optional 22″ M light-alloy rims ($1,900), xDrive AWD, the $2,600 Dynamic Handling Package (Integral Active Steering, M Sport Differential, Adaptive M Suspension Pro, and Active Roll Stabilization), and of course the 4.4-liter BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo V8 (523-horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque). The M Sport exhaust system sounds good, and the optional $500 illuminated BMW kidney grille is pretty fly! But with this amount of power, which is more than adequate for typical city and highway driving with four people in the vehicle, sometimes I wonder if additional horsepower is even needed. An 8-speed Sport Steptronic automatic transmission with Launch Control and paddle shifters located on the thick M steering wheel pairs with the V8 and Driving Dynamics Control allows the driver to select various driving modes depending on their emotions for the day. The X6 M50i’s blue M Sport brakes are standard also.

Inside the $3,350 Black Full Merino Leather interior, it felt like a workplace in Silicon Valley. Head-Up display has more area to showcase detailed data and graphics; a high-resolution 12.3″ instrument cluster and 12.3″ center screen are more akin to smart TVs, while wireless charging and WiFi Hotspot keep you fully connected and engaged. The Panoramic sunroof is standard, and Ambient interior lighting sets the driving mood. The X6’s rear headroom is much better than the prior model as well. I’m always a fan of metal pedals, and the metal black and silver mesh material outlining the dash, door panel, and center console, along with satin aluminum trim, give the cabin a refined and techy feel.

The all-new BMW X6 M50i is currently in dealers, and the X6 M will hit the scene in the spring of 2020. Active, sporty, and gifted, I’m sure all of your expectations will be met.

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