Mus­cle with a cap­i­tal M

BMW’s sports di­vi­sion is con­sid­er­ing an­other high­per­for­mance mon­ster, writesGORDONLOMAS

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THE out­ra­geous BMW X6 could have its claws sharp­ened by the com­pany’s M sport di­vi­sion to cre­ate an­other hard-core per­for­mance model.

There are no firm in­di­ca­tions from BMW’s prod­uct plan­ning de­part­ment in Mu­nich as yet, but the Ger­man maker has not ruled the project out.

The fact BMW has not shut the door on a high-per­for­mance X6 is a sign M di­vi­sion could be cook­ing up its cra­zi­est project yet. It has pre­vi­ously taken a de­fi­ant stance that there would be no M ver­sion of the X5 four-wheel-drive wagon be­cause it does not meet its strict in-house prin­ci­ples of what de­fines an M car.

The X6, which shares the same floor­pan as the X5 but has a much more car-like coupe body, ticks the boxes for an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to the M stable.

It is al­ready set for a 4.4-litre twin­turbo V8 that is booked to join the 3.0-litre in-line six-cylin­der petrol en­gines from Jan­uary.

It is so strong it takes just 5.4 sec­onds to power the X6 from 0 to 100km/ h, a time that minces Porsche’s Cayenne GTS at 6.1sec.

It is also quicker than the V8 XK Jaguar coupe, con­firm­ing the gar­den variety V8 X6 is al­ready a blis­ter­ing unit.

BMW says there are clear guide­lines for what cars have po­ten­tial to be wor­thy of car­ry­ing an M badge.

‘‘AnyMver­sion cars have to meet per­for­mance and dy­namic at­tributes,’’ BMW Aus­tralia cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager Toni An­dreevski says.

‘‘M is not about a more pow­er­ful ver­sion of things and we don’t ap­ply the M badge to ev­ery car we make.’’

While BMW will keep the mo­tor­ing pub­lic in sus­pense over an M-badged X6, there is more im­me­di­ate hope that the wild-look­ing cross be­tween a large SUV and a sports coupe will adopt the DCT (dou­ble clutch) auto trans­mis­sion which has al­ready been mated to the V8 in the latest M3.

It is al­most cer­tain that the DCT will even­tu­ally fil­ter down to the X6.

The DCT trans­mis­sion will be added to the high per­for­mance twin­turbo 335i coupe and con­vert­ible fam­ily early next year.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing we do we want the tech­nol­ogy to be avail­able to as many BMW cus­tomers as pos­si­ble,’’ An­dreevski says.

‘‘But with any new tech­nol­ogy its im­por­tant we re­tain an exclusive pe­riod of time ini­tially.’’

Dial M for mighty: (from left) the BMW range of the X5, X3 and the X6. The X6 could be the latest high-per­for­mance de­sign from its M di­vi­sion.

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