Before the BMW X6 came into existence, there were the ‘coupes’ and there were ‘SUVs’. Some mad lads at the Bavarian carmaker’s R&D decided to merge these two unlikely body styles into one. And the top bosses at BMW gave it a green flag and thus was born – the X6. The carmaker coined the term ‘SAC’ for it meaning sports activity coupe, but what the X6 did was pioneer an all-new body style – Coupe-SUV or SUV-Coupe. Let us have a detailed look at the evolution of the BMW X6
The X6 Concept
At the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW introduced a hunky chunk of metal which had a top half of a sports coupe and bottom half of an SUV. This satyr-type concept received a mixed bag of reaction, but since the concept was almost production-ready, BMW went ahead and did what they intended to.
First Generation E71 (2008-2014)
Work on the E71-gen X6 began shortly after the E70-gen X5 in the early 2000s. It was based on the previous-gen 5 Series and 6 Series platform under the head of Peter Tuennermann. The lead design of Pierre Leclercq was passed in 2006 and the first-gen X6 broke cover at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show. The first-gen model was sold globally until 2014.
BMW also introduced a high-performance X6 M guise with a 550bhp 4.4-litre V8. The xDrive was standard and the other powertrain included 3.0-litre straight-six petrol and diesel engine options. There was also an X6 ActiveHybrid on sale for a short while.
Second Generation F16 (2015-2019)
The second-generation X6 debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.By the time the E71 had already found 2.5 lakh takers globally. It was based on the F15-gen X5, from which the styling was borrowed too. But BMW maintained the sloping roofline even while offering a slightly larger and practical boot space. It also got more engine options and was sold in more markets across the globe than before.
The impractical and mental X6 M (F86) was one of the quickest vehicles in its class. By this time, many other manufacturers had started to duplicate the X6’s formula. Mercedes-Benz did it with the GLC/GLE Coupe. The Toyota C-HR is another example. Even the Audi Q8/Lamborghini Urus carry a similar coupe-SUV styling.
Third Generation G06 (2019-present)
Last year, BMW debuted the third-generation X6. It is now based on the same CLAR platform as the 7 Series and the X7 and not only is it bigger on the inside, it’s more spacious and more powerful under the skin. And for the first time, it gets an illuminated kidney grille function which is fancy, to say the least. It was launched in India earlier this week in the xDrive40i guise (you can read all about it over here), but we expect more powerful derivatives like the M50i and the full-blown X6 M to be introduced later.