BMW X6

The final production version of the new BMW X6 will be unveiled at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show in January, but for the benefit of all of us who obviously can’t take off and head to Detroit, they’ve released full details on the car.

Two variants of the new E71 BMW X6 Sport Activity Vehicle will be made available – both petrol but these product photos show that there will be a diesel one available too. The top of the line 4.4 litre twin turbocharged V8 petrol engine used in the X6 is new engine unveiled to the world for the first time.

The BMW X6 xDrive50i uses a new 4.4 litre V8 direct injection twin turbocharged all-aluminium engine putting out 408 horsepower between 5,500rpm and 6,400rpm, and 600Nm of torque over a wide range of between 1,800rpm and 4,500rpm. It is the first turbocharged V engine in the world to feature its turbocharger between the V section in the middle of the two banks of cylinders.

The engine uses water-to-air intercoolers which provide a shorter air path, and omits the use of Valvetronic throttle-less intake, a choice BMW made with the N54B30 twin turbocharged inline-6, and the BMW Prince engine used in the MINI Cooper S.

The other petrol model is the BMW X6 xDrive35i, using the award winning 3.0 litre twin turbo inline-6, also powering the 135i and 335i, making 300 horsepower between 5,800rpm and 6250rpm, and a peak torque of 400Nm between 1,400rpm and 5.000rpm. The oil burner model is the BMW X6 xDrive35d, powered by the potent 3.0 litre sequential twin turbodiesel of course.

BMW’s xDrive permanent all-wheel drive which comes standard on the X6 now has Dynamic Performance Control, which is essentially a torque vectoring system. Dynamic Performance Control ensures variable distribution of forces between the two rear wheels via an innovative torque vectoring rear differential and an advanced computer control system. This creates a DSC-like effect but without the momentum loss because of DSC’s use of braking. This control can be employed independent of engine load of drive power, so it also works when the driver’s foot is off the throttle pedal – a first in the world.

Ride and handling is controlled by Integrated Chassis Management technology, which varies drivetrain and suspension functions within fractions of a second, responding to sudden changes in driving conditions such as spontaneous steering maneuvers on changing surfaces, whether accelerating or braking. Vehicle control in situations that requires it is primarily employed by Dynamic Performance Control – DSC which uses brakes only kicks in at far limits of vehicle stability.

Of course, every performance X BMW needs to have Adaptive Drive, which is a fantastic system I’ve tried out in first person. It uses variable anti-roll bars and dampers to control body roll – this makes a huge difference!

Now the boring utility stuff – storage space in the rear of the BMW X6 is rather large at 724 litres, and this can be increased by folding down the rear seat backrests to 1690 litres. The BMW X6 seats 4.

More photos and a video available after the jump.

Video: BMW X6 Video

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