The BMW X6 has been blurring the lines of SUV and sports car since its introduction in 2008. Things got even more strange when BMW threw a diesel engine under its hood and slapped an M badge on the side. Yes, BMW makes a diesel-powered M product. Unfortunately for those in the United States, the X6 M50d has been unobtainable. That trend sadly continues as the X6 rolls into its second generation for 2015.

The X6 can thank its second-generation upgrade to the X5, the SUV on which it’s based and shares much of its platform. For 2014, the X5 received a healthy makeover, including slightly larger dimensions for increased interior volume, a revised exterior, and a fresh interior.

The standard 2015 X6 is destined to arrive on U.S. shores likely sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014. While the M50d will be missing from our BMW lineup, our friends overseas will get to enjoy its torque-rich oil-burner. The M50d sports a straight-six construction displacing 3.0-liters and spooled up by two turbochargers. With an output of 381 horsepower and a tire-shredding 546 pound-feet of torque, the X6 M50d sprints to 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Even with all that power, the 3.0-liter, I-6 diesel still sips fuel like a Prius. On the European test cycle, the SUV returns a highly-respectable 42.8 mpg! Let that soak in while you click past the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW X6 M50d.

  • 2015 BMW X6 M50d
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed auto
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Energy:
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Layout:
    Front engine; All Wheel Drive
  • Price:
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:


2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555247
2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555253
2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555248
The narrow headlights look as if they’re squinting dirty looks at the competition, and the sharply edged hood is more crisp than line-dried linens.

The new bodywork adoring the X6’s new exterior is much more angular and aggressive than before. The front grille has no less than six gaping openings that feed cool air to the diesel’s intercoolers. The narrow headlights look as if they’re squinting dirty looks at the competition, and the sharply edged hood is more crisp than line-dried linens.

The X6’s side profile is no less dramatic. Below its beltline are angular edges formed nicely in with swooping lines while the profile of the roof is one large curved line. Nearly every inch of the X6’s body has some sort of character line or interesting trait.

Around back, is a tiny rear window dwarfed by a massive trunk and bumper. The large lower fascia houses twin chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, while the trunk’s main feature is the large LED taillights.


2015 BMW X6 M50d Interior
- image 555327
2015 BMW X6 M50d Interior
- image 555331
2015 BMW X6 M50d Interior
- image 555326

Pictured is the standard 2015 BMW X6 interior

The designers took what could have been an ugly hole and make it into a beautiful feature that works well in directing air in multiple directions.

The revised interior of the X6 is still distinctly BMW but carries a new look of refinement. The infotainment screen is still perched atop the dash and plenty of physical buttons inhabit the center stack. The gear selector remains familiar as does the rotary iDrive dial. The thin-spoke steering wheel has a beefy leather-wrapped ring for sure gripping and the large dead pedal on the floor ensure a steady stance.

Especially interesting are the double air vents on either side of the dashboard. The designers took what could have been an ugly hole and make it into a beautiful feature that works well in directing air in multiple directions.


2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Emblems and Logo Exterior
- image 555256
The recipe produces 381 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque.

Motivating the X6 M50d is BMW’s most powerful diesel engine. Its six cylinders displace 3.0-liters and is force-fed by twin turbochargers. A common-rail fuel system with piezo injectors delivers fuel at an amazing 31,908 psi. The recipe produces 381 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission that delivers power through BMW’s xDrive to all four wheels.

BMW says the X6 M50d will hit 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds. Its top speed will likely be limited to 155 mph.

Type 3.0-liter Inline Six-Cylinder Diesel
Horsepower 381 horsepower
Torque 546 pound-feet
0 to 62 mph 5.2 seconds
Fuel consumption 6.6 liters per 100 kilometers (42.8 mpg imp).


2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555251

BMW has yet to release pricing information on the new SUV, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. The X6 M50d won’t find its way to the U.S. in the foreseeable future. In other parts of the world, expect the M50d version of the X6 to cost somewhere between $80,000 and $90,000.


Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG

2013 Mercedes G65 AMG Exterior
- image 450391

Almost equally ridiculous as the X6 M50d is the G65 AMG. Sure, the Mercedes runs on gasoline rather than diesel, but where else are you going to find a go-fast version of a German SUV?

Unlike the fuel-sipping X6 diesel, the G65 AMG is powered by a massive, twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter, V-12 engine. It makes 536 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque sent to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Will all that power on board, the G65 AMG rockets to 60 in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 142 mph.

Audi Q7 V-12 TDI

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 527867

Link and pictured is the U.S.-spec Q7 V-6 TDI
A little more on the conservative side lies the Audi Q7 TDI. Its larger size, three-row seating, and less look-at-me styling has it coming in last on the wow-factor chart. However, what the Q7 lacks in outlandish looks, it makes up for in utilitarian usefulness and a massive powerplant

Under the hood lies a 6.0-liter, V-12 turbo diesel making an outlandish 493 horsepower and an unbelievable 738 pound-feet of torque. The V-12 comes mated with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.

Unfortunately, the Audi Q7 V-12 TDI falls into the same you-can’t-have-it category as the Euro-only BMW. Then again, only achieving a combined 20.8 miles per gallon, the Audi would be rather expensive to fuel.


2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555255

The X6 M50d is one heck of a performer with its diesel powerplant, sport-tuned suspension, and wallet-friendly mpg numbers. Though the SUV is a great performer, it has several marks against it. Obviously, with it not coming to the U.S., it’s hard to get excited about it. Secondly, the X6 has always been a very odd vehicle — caught between an SUV and a sedan. However, if you don’t mind the looks, you live in Europe, and you’ve got $90,000 to blow on a crossover, the X6 M50d is a darn good choice to go with.

  • Leave it
    • Still looks odd
    • Going to be expensive
    • Not coming to the U.S.
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

The launch of the second-generation BMW X6 will go hand-in-hand with the arrival of a BMW M Performance Automobile developed on the basis of the new Sports Activity Coupe. The new BMW X6 M50d is powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology and a maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp. Its driving properties are all about extraordinary agility and precisely controllable handling. Like its engine – the most powerful diesel unit in the BMW line-up – the new model’s eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission, BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system, specially tuned chassis technology, aerodynamically optimised body design and cockpit design all bear the signature of BMW M GmbH.

2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555252

The expertise amassed by BMW M GmbH in motor racing and the development of high-performance sports cars has been brought to bear in the targeted modification of individual components. And this know-how is also evident in the hallmark M precision with which the chassis configuration, braking performance and aerodynamic balance of the new BMW X6 M50d are matched with the engine’s performance characteristics. This gives the BMW M Performance Automobile a distinctive, extremely sporty profile – one which is underlined by bespoke design accents and turns the driving pleasure already conjured up by a BMW X model into an inimitable, emotion-rich experience.

Six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with unparalleled M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology, supreme power and exemplary efficiency.

The straight-six diesel engine under the bonnet of the BMW X6 M50d is another example of the BMW Group’s stand-out expertise in the field of powertrain development. Its M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology uses three turbochargers – which work together in a precision-adjusted multistage process – and common rail direct injection (with piezo injectors generating maximum pressure of 2,200 bar) to deliver maximum output of 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 Newton metres (546 lb-ft).

2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555253

The engine powering the new BMW X6 M50d displays performance characteristics cast in the classical M mould – most tellingly in its ability to maintain maximum power output over a wide rev range. The key here is an innovative turbocharging system; two relatively small turbochargers and one large turbo dovetail precisely to deliver the amount of power required. The low moment of inertia of the small turbochargers is exploited to the full to deliver razor-sharp responses and the link-up with the large turbo is maximised to generate as much charge pressure as possible – just as the driving situation demands. The new BMW X6 M50d accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds (0.1 seconds more quickly than its predecessor) and boasts impressive power reserves for sporty mid-range sprints, even at higher speeds.

At the same time, the average fuel consumption of the BMW M Performance Automobile has been reduced by 14 per cent and now stands at just 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres (42.8 mpg imp). CO2 emissions come in at 174 grams per kilometre. The new BMW X6 M50d thus displays a genuine commitment to delivering impressive efficiency at this extremely high level of performance.

In order to ensure optimum conversion of engine power into dynamic performance, both the eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission and BMW xDrive have been tuned precisely to the power unit’s performance characteristics. The M-specific set-up of the all-wheel-drive system has been optimised to enhance the new BMW X6 M50d’s dynamics, helping it to retain a rear-wheel bias under dynamic cornering. Even when the car is stable through corners, a larger proportion of the engine’s power is channelled to the rear axle to enhance agility and stave off understeer.

2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555254

M-specific chassis delivers precise handling properties. The likewise model-specific chassis technology of the new BMW X6 M50d paves the way for hallmark M handling responses which allow precise car control even in dynamically exacting situations. The standard Adaptive M suspension of the new BMW X6 M50d comprises Dynamic Damper Control and air suspension with automatic self-levelling at the rear axle. The spring and damper system, support mounts and elastokinematics of the front and
rear axle, as well as Servotronic mapping of the Electric Power Steering, all have an M-specific configuration. And that’s a recipe for familiar M handling
characteristics, headlined by reduced roll, extremely high precision on turn-in and a linear build-up of transverse forces through dynamically taken corners.
The car’s rigid bodyshell mounting, firm spring and damper characteristics, and direct power steering responses are especially noticeable when SPORT or SPORT+ mode is selected using the Driving Experience Control switch. This ensures a particularly clear differentiation from the COMFORT setting in the new BMW X6 M50d.

The new BMW X6 M50d is available as an option with the Dynamic adaptive suspension package. This comprises Dynamic Performance Control – with variable distribution of power between the rear wheels (torque vectoring) – and active roll stabilisation. These systems imbue the new BMW X6 M50d with even sharper cornering dynamics and further reduce body roll during direction changes.

2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555255

Large brakes – featuring 385-millimetre discs at the front and 345-millimetre discs at the rear – ensure powerful and fade-free deceleration even under heavy loads. The standard-fitted 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design are, like the two versions of the optional 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design, fitted with mixed-size tyres.

Body design with optimised aerodynamic properties and crystalclear indicators of sporting intent.

The standalone character of the BMW X6 M50d is highlighted by bespoke exterior design accents and by the design and equipment of the interior. Aerodynamically optimised body components blend with prominently sporty features to create an exterior appearance fitting the template of a BMW M Performance Automobile. Large air intakes, bespoke contours for the front apron, muscular side skirts and a rear apron with diffuser insert perform various roles, including helping to improve the airflow to the engine and optimise the car’s aerodynamic balance at higher speeds.

2015 BMW X6 M50d High Resolution Exterior
- image 555255

Other signature features of the new BMW X6 M50d’s exterior design are horizontal Ferric Grey bars for the outer air intakes, cladding at the lower edge of the body (painted in body colour), BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim, exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey and trapezoidal, black chrome exhaust tailpipe embellishers like those on the eight-cylinder model.

Interior: an ideal ambience in which to enjoy sporty driving pleasure. The cleverly thought-out design and selection of materials for the interior of the new BMW X6 M50d have created the perfect ambience for driving pleasure at the sportier end of the scale. The BMW M Performance Automobile is equipped as standard with leather/Alcantara sports seats, an M leather steering wheel and Aluminium Hexagon interior trim strips. The anthracite-coloured roof liner, M driver’s footrest, model-specific door sill strips, electronically generated “X6 M50d” lettering in the instrument cluster and gear selector bearing the M logo add further distinctive accents to the mix.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: