With the X7 and 7-series LCI, BMW has surely pushed its kidney grilles as far as it can when it comes to size. However, Munich has a new trick up its sleeve to make its signature front end design just a little more showy: illumination.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, BMW has chosen to debut optional light-up kidney grilles on one of its most conspicuous offerings, the X6. The new version - which doesn’t look all that different to the smaller X4 - automatically switches on its grille lighting when the car is opened or closed. The driver can also control the lights manually, and yes, it is possible to have them on while you’re moving. Great news for anyone who hates subtlety.
It’s 26mm longer than the old one, a little wider and ever so slightly lower. The wheelbase has increased by 46mm. Inside, you’ll find two 12.3-inch displays for the driver, and yet more optional extras including electrically adjustable massage seats and ‘thermoelectric’ cup holders. Nice.
Boot space inevitably drops compared to the more conventionally-shaped X5, but you still get 580-litres to fill, expanding to 1530 if you drop the 40:20:40 split rear bench.
The engine line-up isn’t what you’d call surprising - it largely mirrors the X5’s. There’s the sensible option of the 261bhp/457lb ft xDrive30d, an xDrive40i with a 335bhp/332lb ft inline-six petrol, or the M50d with its monstrous 394bhp/560lb ft quad-turbo derv unit. Four anyone preferring a dirty-great V8 petrol, there’s the 523bhp and 553lb ft M50i, which shares its 4.4-litre twin-turbo engine with the mighty M850i. It does 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds.
Keeping the power in check is a double-wishbone front, multilink rear suspension setup, with adaptive dampers fitted as standard. Go for Adaptive M Suspension Professional, and clever active-anti roll bars plus an all-wheel steering system are added into the mix. Air suspension is available too, as is - if you’re one of the few X6 owners intending to get a little muddy - an off-road pack.
The new X6 range starts at £59,340, £1700 more than the cheapest X5. The V8 petrol M50i is £77,360 before options. while the diesel M50d is slightly less expensive at £74,825.
This, or a Porsche Cayenne Coupe?