BMW X6M (2009-2014)
An M-power SUV was a bold step by BMW. Especially since it wasn’t sure that anybody actually wanted one. The £93,000 first-gen X6M of 2009 was deeply conflicted weighing in at 2.3 tons, blessed with 555bhp from a twin-turbo 4.4 V8 and the aerodynamics of a Georgian town house. Yet despite such a haversack of contradictions, not to mention the effects of physics, Munich’s hot-rod 4x4 can crack sixty in 4.2 seconds, and if you ticked the speed limiter delete box, will run all the way to 175mph. Impressive numbers but doubly attractive because the X6M can carry four fully-formed adults and a couple of German Shepherds in the back. As a very high-performance carry-all it takes some beating and with prices of reasonable mileage examples down to £20k it’s a wild ride.
Don’t get me wrong, the X6M isn’t anything like as fluent or poised as most other M Power confections. But find a quiet ribbon of tarmac, point the nose and pull the trigger and it’s hysterically fast. In a straight line the X6M is as fast as an M5 V10 and slightly quicker than the contemporary M3. But this isn’t just a very rapid truck – it has a decent chassis, composed ride and the ability to out-corner a Supercharged Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The six-speed Steptronic ‘box with its M-dynamic mode is wonderful and the self-levelling air suspension makes pottering along butchered B-roads a remarkably serene experience.
And it’s comparatively rare too. Only 49 were sold in the UK in 2009, 52 in 2010, 228 in 2013 and 126 in 2014 – most going to China, the US and the UAE. Unique Prestige in Hoddesdon has a 2011 in black with 50,000 miles for £24,995, Essex Prestige has a white 2011 with 39,000 miles for £26,989, while a private seller in London has a silver 2010 with 38,000 miles and total BMW history for a very tempting £21,995. For rare M-cars with low mileages these aren’t big prices and make hard-driven M3s and M5s look expensive. BMW very likely lost money on every one, but we should be glad such an act of insanity passed all those customer clinics. A 175mph leather-lined SUV might not be what the world wanted, but for those of us with a sense of irony, it marks a magnificent act of automotive defiance. It has no relevance in the brave new world of low carbon electrification. And for that reason alone, I think it’s a future classic in waiting.