Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 7 July 2020

Road test: The BMW X6 may look refined, but it goes like a rocket

The M50i version of the German marque's sports activity vehicle is as fragrant as the most delicate tea, but it goes like a full-strength coffee when you put your foot down

If, in some bizarre alternative reality, the speed freaks from The Fast and the Furious developed hitherto undiscovered aesthetic sensibilities and pursued careers as interior designers, the BMW X6 is the car they might choose to replace the zippy vehicles so beloved of that particular movie franchise.

That’s a lot of ifs, admittedly, but the reason for this assertion is less esoteric: the X6 is a highly civilised mode of transport that just happens to go like a rocket.

The X6 seems to be BMW’s latest attempt at a US muscle car. The thing is (whisper it), Germany’s version is probably more fun to drive than any of its Stateside counterparts, or, more than likely, the majority of that ilk that have appeared since the dawn of time.

Give it a little thought, though, and this is not much of a surprise – firstly, the X6 is a BMW (no flies on your esteemed motoring correspondent for noticing that), and the lads and lasses down at Bavaria’s best-known motor plant don’t have a reputation for sitting around scoffing lunch and clanking glasses together when there’s serious engineering work to be done. Secondly, this particular X6 costs several times what standard US muscle cars would. You expect more for your money and, thankfully, in the X6 you get it in spades.

The concept of an SUV coupe, which is what this particular car is, sounds a strange mix (BMW refers to it as an SAV, which stands for sports activity vehicle), but this latest version is now in its third generation, having sold knocking on for half a million units around the world.

No mystery here – this is a prime example of the kind of fossil-fuel-powered transport many carmakers have been producing in recent years. They all know they’re drinking in the last-chance saloon when it comes to petrol models, so they’re doing their best to knock out chariots that are as close to faultless as they can get them.

Tearing through a tunnel.
Tearing through a tunnel.

The X6 is exactly of this mould. It’s a fast, furious hooligan’s car in a top hat and tails. It is refined enough to appeal to people who fancy a fast ride, but, concurrently, want one that is civilised to the max. You won’t be embarrassed to turn up to a chichi dinner in one or, indeed, be self-conscious should you proffer a lift to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they’re thumbing a lift to Canada.

But don’t let anyone see you floor it at the traffic lights and leave the boy racer in the Golf GTi next to you in your wake. Tempting, naturally, but that kind of thing tends to spoil the sophisticated air you no doubt hope to convey.

Updated: March 1, 2020 07:20 AM

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