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All-new 2020 BMW X6

By Greg Zyla
More Content Now
Entry price: $66,000
Price as tested: $72,020

This week we’re driving the all-new third generation 2020 BMW X6, a car-like model available with either rear-drive or AWD underpinnings. Arriving with an enhanced and optionally illuminated kidney grille, new front and rear motif and outstanding new cabin, our X6 xDrive40i model is just one of many new BMWs available at dealer showrooms. One thing they all have in common is the legendary sports car handling and distinctive opulence one expects from the BMW nameplate.
Looking back at BMW’s motorcar history, it’s almost impossible to believe that back in 1955 the noted German brand was near extinction. Specifically, the only thing sitting between bankruptcy and solvency was a new, tiny little bubble car they called Isetta 300. Surprisingly, along with motorcycle sales, this 13-horsepower powered vehicle helped BMW persevere through difficult economic times.
Further, I remember seeing several Isetta 300’s back in the late 1950s and novel they were. Isetta’s weighed just 750 pounds and relied on a 1-cylinder, (yes, just one) 247-cc, BMW motorcycle engine. It delivered 60 MPG, went 53 mph flat out and cost $1,048 when introduced to the U.S. market in 1958. Fast forward to 1966, the compact, “real car” BMW 1600 series became the darling of the college crowd and if you didn’t own one, you sure wish you did. BMWs morphed into the opposite of the VW Bug and Bus, and if you owned a VW Bus, you were a member of the “flower power” hippy generation. Meanwhile, if you owned a BMW 1600, you were a member of the more preppie, wine and cheese crowd. Either way, you were “in” and many times shared together at the college parties.   
Fast forward and we’re back to modern day BMW land where it officially calls the 2020 X6 either a “Sports Activity Coupe” (our tester) or a more conventional looking “Sports Activity Vehicle,” with the boxy roofline.    
The X line of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles and Coupes starts with the X1 ($35,200) and then progresses all the way up to the luxurious and powerful X7M50i, which starts at $99,600 with a 523 horse turbo V8 under the hood and zero to 60 times of 4.5 seconds. All deliver BMW expectations and the higher the number goes the more amenities and powertrain options appear on the build sheet. The X4 and X6 versions feature the more pronounced sloped rear roof coupe design over and above the others.
The X6 40i standard engine, be it rear or AWD, is the powerful 3.0-liter inline-6 that delivers a stout 355 horses and 365 lb. ft. of torque. All Xdrive models feature all-wheel drive and Dynamic Driving modes including Sport, Sport+, Comfort, or Eco with a special launch control for those who want to sprint away from a situation as fast as possible.
Our tester’s inline-6 may not be in the same acceleration class as the 523-horse X7’s turbo V8 but it will for sure impress. Expect zero to 60 in 5.3 seconds thanks to torque that is delivered to an 8-speed paddle shift sport automatic while 20-inch Pirelli run flats provide the necessary road adhesion. Lightweight spoke alloy wheels also help in reducing weight on rotating assemblies and as they say if it’s lighter, it’s faster.
As for the “Twin Power Turbo,” BMW utilizes a special twin-scroll turbo direct induction and exhaust system to eliminate even a trace of turbo lag when accelerating.
Its “Twin Power Turbo” delivers a seamless, no hesitation turbo acceleration from a direct common rail fuel injection system that quickens the fuel/air mix to the intake valves and then through a special exhaust manifold when combustion is complete.
All X6 models feature modern safety equipment including stability and traction controls, safety rear monitoring and infotainment delivered on a large 10.25-inch color screen and standard panoramic moonroof. Notable for a powerful BMW are the EPA numbers at 20 city and 26 highway.

Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and Gannett Co. Inc. Contact him at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.

auto bits
Merger of Fiat Chrysler gets potential approval date
The next steps in the proposed merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Groupe should be clearer by next month.
European regulators have set a deadline of June 17 to announce whether they will OK the proposed 50/50 merger, according to a European Commission filing. The commission is the executive arm of the European Union.
The date is noteworthy, but the merger, if it continues moving forward, would still take months to be completed.
Reuters reports that the regulators could decide to approve the merger or open a four-month investigation into the deal that would bring Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati together with Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall under one umbrella.
The recent action, based on the companies’ notification to the commission on May 8, is the latest signal that the merger efforts have continued despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended the global economy and possibly challenged assumptions laid out when the merger proposal was announced last year.
The companies, which seek to become the fourth-largest automaker in the world after they merge, signed a “binding combination agreement” in December.

Eric D. Lawrence/Detroit Free Press