The E71 BMW X6 has been updated with a facelift for the 2012 model year, helping keep BMW’s amalgamation of a coupe and an SUV looking fresh mid way point in its lifecycle, which for a BMW is typically 7 years.

First launched in 2008, the mid-life facelift or “Life Cycle Impulse” as BMW likes to call it is right on time! Externally, BMW has updated the X6 with the usual new bumpers, headlamps and tail lamps as well as new alloy wheel designs.

The headlamp is now of course lit up with white corona rings, but what’s interesting is that now there’s the option of adaptive LED headlamps, which are fully powered by LED technology – not just the corona rings which act as daytime running lights, which by the way now have the flat bottom design that first debuted on the F30 3-er.

The light sources for low and high beam light are LED units positioned on a horizontal bar at its centre, feeding their light into the reflectors in front. In the facelifted top of the line BMW X6 M, adaptive LED headlights are fitted as standard.

The tail lamps are also lit up by LED, and the styling is designed to be horizontally aligned and to stretch far out to the sides, emphasising the width of the vehicle.

There’s also something interesting – an optional engine bonnet with a powerdome. This feature is not available for order in Germany – not sure why though!

An M Sport kit will be available for the X6, which includes 20-inch M light alloy wheels in double spoke design and bi-colour finish with mixed tyres, adaptive LED headlamps, BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line, black surrounds for the fog lights and M door sill cover strips, sports seats with electrical adjustment and memory function, M-specific Alcantara/Nappa leather combination in black with M-style welt and contrast stitching, M leather steering wheel with shift paddles, M driver footrest, stainless steel pedals, interior strips in Aluminium Flywheel black and the BMW Individual roof liner in anthracite.

As far as the updated interior goes, I wish they had also updated the meter cluster with a Black Panel style display that all the new higher end BMWs have. The X6 continues with a meter cluster that feels “last generation”. The same goes to the steering wheel – while all the new BMWs have rocker switches and thumb scrollers, the X6 facelift makes do with regular buttons.

The existing engines remain the same – the X6 xDrive50i makes 407hp, the X6 xDrive35i does 306hp, and the oil burner xDrive40d and xDrive30d make 306hp and 245hp respectively. No details about the X6 M yet, but there’s a new model called the X6 M50d which we’ll go into detail later.

The M50d is classified as a BMW M Performance car, which is one rung below a pure BMW M car on the ladder, and uses a total of three turbochargers to force air into a 3.0 liter six cylinder diesel to make 381 horsepower and an insane 740Nm of torque, taking the X6 M50d to 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds while consuming only 7.7L/100km on average. All engines including the M50d use an 8-speed auto transmission, except the X6 M which uses a 6-speed.