BMW plans to present a new BMW X6 within the next 18 months to counteract the deluge of similarly developed four-wheel-drives from rivals like Audi, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz. The second-gen X6 – which is the sister car to the third-generation X5 – is a key model in an expanded lineup of sporting four-wheel-drive models that are presently being developed in Munich at BMW’s engineering headquarters.
The smaller but less expensive X2 and X4 models will soon be added to the luxury SUV in its lineup sometime mid-decade. This move will increase the number of BMW’s dedicated four-wheel-drive models from four to six by 2016. The new X6 is predicted to make use of an even bolder look than the present model, which is popular in markets like China, North America and Russia.
Autocar was told by BMW design sources that the new model will deviate farther from the X5 not just in shape but in the detailing too. According to a source, the company aims for its sporting models to appear more individual, to distinguish visually from their more practical models in the lineup. There is a marginal increase in length from the current model’s 4877mm to around 4910mm. It is targeted at offering the new X6 with more levels of interior space.
BMW sources said that this has been considered to be a weak point with the first-generation model, which started selling in the UK since 2009. It will also get a reconfigured chassis with a lengthier wheelbase and wider tracks.
The new X6 is based on a shortened version of the newly engineered monocoque platform located under the next X5, which is likely to be launched in the UK later this year. The composite steel structure is considered by sources to be more advanced than what’s used by the first-generation X6. BMW claims that this offers big weight savings because of the use of a bigger proportion of hot-formed high-strength alloys.