Leader of the pack

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:54pm


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The BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe seems bulky in Hong Kong traffic, but the luxury crossover makes sense if you are travelling into Guangdong for business or a game of golf.

Manufactured at BMW's Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, the X6 could also signal the beginning of a new trend in which the local rich might shed their safe, boxy commuter vans for a more dynamic vehicle that merges the high ground clearance and large wheels of a sport utility vehicle with the styling and performance of a coupe.

The Beijing Auto launches of luxury SUVs, such as the Lamborghini Urus, Maserati Kubang, Bentley EXP 9 and Eterniti Artemis, all point to a new trend in luxury high-horsepower.

Yet BMW's X6 seems ahead of the pack with a spacious ride for long journeys on 19-inch or 20-inch wheels. The first vehicle in its segment with adaptive LED headlamps, the new X6 is fitted with Dynamic Performance Control, which improves cornering and track stability, and High Precision Injection technology which enhances fuel combustion and efficiency.

There is plenty of leg and head room for four adults on long journeys, particularly in the back.

The floor is flat as the transmission has been fitted under it and the boot extends from 570 litres to 1,450l with the rear seats folded back.

Dealer BMW Concessionaires offers three engine varieties. The X6 xDrive50iA (HK$1.291 million) and its five-seater variant (HK$1,299,600) have a 4,395cc, 407hp V8 engine, packed with the marque's latest fuel injection and twin-turbo technology.

The Bavarian marque has also made the block more compact to save weight and further reduces 'the pressure loss between intake and exhaust sides' for 'best-in-class efficiency' and carbon-dioxide emissions of 299g/km, the marque says.

A 555hp M version is also available with a 6-speed M Sport automatic transmission, from HK$1.899 million.

The X6 xDrive35iA (HK$906,000) and its five-seater version (HK$914,600) have a 2,979cc 306hp six-cylinder engine that can produce 400Nm of torque from 1,300rpm with fuel consumption at 11.1 l/100km and CO2 emissions of 259g/km. The marque also offers systems such as Active Steering with electronically controlled dampers and roll stabilisation, and driver-assistance technology ranging from BMW Head-Up-Display and Lane Departure Warning, new parking camera systems, and the integration of phones and music players.