BMW X6: Strange car, great tech

New stability system and compact twin-turbo V8 debut on BMW’s X6

It may look like a niche too far, but the BMW X6 heralds the introduction of two very innovative technologies.

First off there’s BMW’s Dynamic Performance Control. Effectively a very clever, electronically controlled rear diff, it can send extra drive to the outside rear wheel in a bend to help quell understeer. The system, which was first developed for F1, claims to improve stability at all speeds, not just at the limit, and it can even operate when the engine is on overrun, juggling the braking force generated by the engine between individual wheels. Expect to see DPC fitted on more BMW models in the future.

Also of interest is the engine fitted to the xDrive 50i model that tops the X6 range. A completely new twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that produces 402bhp at 5500rpm and 442lb ft of torque between 1800 and 4500rpm, it can take the 50i to 62mph in 5.4sec. The clever bit, though, is the way BMW has squeezed the turbos and exhausts of the new engine inside the V in order to keep the unit as compact as possible.

This unique layout means that the twin-turbo V8 can be used in any BMW model that already accepts a V8, so expect to see it fitted in new high-performance 5- and 6-series models in the near future.Prices have yet to be confirmed for the 50i X6, but in the UK the best selling X6s are expected to be the two diesel models, the £41,995, 232bhp xDrive 30d and the £44,135, 282bhp xDrive 35d, both of which have been cleverly engineered to limbo under the 225g/km CO2 limit. Despite this, the 35d is still capable of a 6.9sec sprint to 62mph.

Does anyone still want a big SUV with not much space inside? We’ll find out when it goes on sale in May.

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