If you assumed the realities of global warming and a worldwide economic meltdown would put an end to automotive excess, the BMW X6 M offers fire-breathing proof that you were very wrong. This unapologetically impractical luxury SUV, with seating for four and meager cargo capacity, is over the top by just about every measure you can name. The performance-themed X6 M struts with a stronger twin-turbo V8, a sharper suspension, bigger brakes and grippier tires than the already frivolous X6 on which it's based. With every raucous run to redline, it emphatically flips the bird to human decency and common sense.
If you're looking for a rational reason to buy a BMW X6 M, you won't find one here. Indeed, we're pretty sure there isn't one. Other sport coupes and sedans are better all-around performers, while any number of luxury SUVs are more versatile. But if the concept of a 5,300-pound high-riding hatchback with supercar performance strikes you as gloriously absurd, take heart: You're just the sort of driver for whom the X6 M was designed.
Current BMW X6 M
The BMW X6 M is a four-passenger high-performance SUV with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that cranks out 555 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. In concert with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, this engine catapults the X6 M from zero to 60 mph in a preposterously quick 4.3 seconds.
The X6 M isn't all engine, however, as BMW has added a number of dynamic enhancements to make it more athletic. Standard 20-inch wheels and performance tires help, but it's the special sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers that's most responsible for the X6 M's amazing handling prowess. At the same time, the ride remains livable, and the steering system adapts effectively to both sporting occasions and parking lots -- we actually prefer it to the communicative but heavy steering of the standard X6. On a tight road, however, there's just no hiding how large and heavy the BMW X6 M really is.
As a high-end BMW, the X6 M gets a full complement of luxury features, including parking sensors (a must given the X6's compromised visibility), adaptive xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, sublimely supportive power front seats, the iDrive electronics interface, a navigation system and a 16-speaker audio system. The options list includes automatic soft-closing doors, a head-up display, a multiview parking camera, a rear entertainment system and smartphone integration.
Unlike the regular X6, the M version does not offer an optional three-person rear bench, meaning it can only seat four people. In terms of cargo capacity, the sizable X6 M trails most compact crossovers with its humble 60-cubic-foot maximum. Typical car-buying logic probably doesn't apply here, but for what it's worth, the related BMW X5 M pairs pretty much identical performance with real SUV versatility.
Used BMW X6 M Models
The BMW X6 M debuted for the 2010 model year. Apart from a few minor updates for 2013, it hasn't changed since.