Muscle with a capital M
BMW’s sports division is considering another highperformance monster, writesGORDONLOMAS
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.