• 2020 BMW X6 M

The new X6 M is the sportiest, fastest, and the most powerful X6 to date

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The 2020 BMW X6 M is the high-performance version of the third-generation coupe-style SUV. Just like the X5 M, it features a more aggressive exterior design with new options and a lot more technology inside the cabin. Thanks to new driver assist tech, the X6 M is a semi-autonomous vehicle in certain scenarios and it can park by itself. The really big news is the beefed-up engine, now capable of 600 horsepower. But BMW also offers a more powerful variant with the Competition badge that generates 617 horsepower. The new two-model lineup goes right after the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe, also available in two flavors. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior

  • Bigger intakes and sportier bumpers
  • Beefed-up fenders and side skirts
  • Redesigned headlamps
  • New kidney grille
  • Bigger wheels
  • "M" badges
  • Sportier stance
  • Unique features
2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
- image 874117
The cool thing about the current-generation X6 is that it's notably different than the boxier X5.

While the previous X6 was very similar to the X5, the new hunchback SUV stands out through features of its own. This is also available for the X6 M, which is essentially an X6 with sportier design cues.

The M-badged crossover features all the familiar styling elements you’ve seen on the regular model. The kidney grille is wider at the center, one of the features that sets it apart from the X5, while the headlamps are thicker and boxier. Even the bumper is different from the X5, with big vents to the sides and a wider opening in the center. You’ll recognize the M model by the even larger air intakes to feed additional air to the coolers and the M-specific kidney grille with black double bars.

The Competition model features an all-black grille for a more aggressive look.
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Onto the sides, you’ll notice how BMW lowered the beltline below the door handles, a revision that makes the X6 M look more dynamic. Moving toward the back, the quarter window is narrower and longer, while the roof has a more aggressive slope toward the deck lid. The big dent in the lower door area is joined flared wheel arches in body color and M gills on the front fenders. The mirror caps also feature a more aerodynamic design.

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The rear fascia is a notable departure from the old model, starting with the design of the new taillights. Inspired by the 8 Series, they’re thinner toward the center of the fascia and extend a lot more into the trunk lid. They almost connect to form a light bar like on the Porsche 911.

The license plate recess was moved lower toward the bumper, leaving room for a character line that gives the middle fascia a pointy design. The license plate recess is no longer flanked by horizontal red lights, as BMW replaced them with vertical lights placed toward the sides on the M model.

The diffuser is obviously more aggressive and backed by a quad exhaust pipe layout with two outlets on each side.

The X6 M features two spoilers, one atop the tailgate and one on the deck lid. Go with the Competition model and the badges, diffuser trim, and exhaust pipes turn black.

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Dimensions-wise, the new X6 M is only marginally bigger than its predecessor. The SUV is 195 inches long, 2.6 inches longer than the old SUV, and 79.5 inches wide, 3.2 inches wider than the outgoing model. At 66.6 inches, the new X6 M is 2.8 inches lower than the old model. Finally, the wheelbase comes in at 117 inches, 1.5 inches more than the old SUV.

X6 M X6 M Competition
Length inches 195.0 195.0
Width inches 79.5 79.5
Width including mirrors inches 87.1 87.1
Height inches 66.6 66.7
Wheelbase inches 117.0 117.0

Exterior paint options are shared with the X5 M and include Alpine White, Carbon Black Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Marina Bay Blue Metallic, Donnington Grey Metallic, Manhattan Green Metallic and Tornado Red Metallic. You can also order two BMW Individual colors: Tanzanite Blue II Metallic and Ametrin Metallic.

2020 BMW X6 M Interior

  • State-of-the-art tech
  • New convenience features
  • Sportier front seats
  • Enhanced legroom
  • Smaller trunk
  • Bespoke instrument cluster
  • 12.3-inch displays
  • Room for five
2020 BMW X6 M Interior
- image 874103

The interior of the X6 M is obviously identical to the X5 M except for the limited second-row headroom and the smaller trunk.

The coupe-style SUV features the same three-layer dashboard with trapezoidal A/C vents at the corners and in the center stack, as well as the BMW Live Cockpit Professional system that includes a couple of 12.3-inch displays.

These massive screens are placed next to each other, one in the center stack and one behind the steering wheel, acting as an instrument cluster.

Both are powered by BMW’s latest operating system, called iDrive 7, and feature a unique M View mode that replaces the standard view with a big rev counter in the center, shift lights, and widget areas that can display various information, including a G-meter, tire pressure, and boost pressure. You can also select between Road and Sport display modes for the head-up display function. The Competition model adds a Track setting that reduces the amount of information available on the displays.

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The multi-function steering wheel has the same three-spoke design, with various controls on the horizontal-oriented spokes, but the small M emblem at the bottom sets it apart.

Luxury is no issue in the X6.

The SUV comes standard with black Merino leather, carbon-fiber trim, and illuminated door sill plates.

The integrated headrests of the M seats also include illuminated badging. The bolstered seats offer electric adjustments for fore/aft position, head restraint height, thigh support, backrest width and angle plus pneumatic lumbar support, so the X6 M is as comfortable as they get.

2020 BMW X6 M Interior
- image 874106

If Merino leather isn’t good enough for you, BMW offers a full Merino leather interior in a variety of colors. Choices include Silverstone, Sakhir Orange and Black, Adelaide Grey, Taruma Brown, and Ivory White with Night Blue. Each comes with a color-matched Alcantara headliner. Tired of the M-specific all-black interior? Now you have options! And speaking of that, you can pick any of the above at no extra cost if you buy the Competition model. The latter can also be equipped with black leather and Midrand Beige Alcantara cloth.

2020 BMW X6 M Interior
- image 874110
The iDrive infotainment system includes natural voice recognition and gesture control, while the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant activates to answer your question when you say the prompt "Hey BMW."

This personal assistant is able to explain the different functions you can use, provide up-to-date information, and assist you when making calls or using various functions of the cars. Regular updates will enhance the range of functions and skills available.

When it comes to passenger space, expect the X6 M to have some limitations compared to the X5 M. Because of the coupe-style roof, front headroom decreased from 41 inches in the X5 M to 40.3 inches in the X6 M. The difference is a bit more noticeable in the back, where the X6 M offers 37.5 inches of headroom, 1.5 less than the X5, which offers 39 inches.

2020 BMW X6 M Interior
- image 874102

Moving over to cargo room, the X6’s trunk can swallow up to 27.4 cubic feet of luggage behind the second-row seats. That almost seven cubic feet more than the old X6 M. Fold the second-row seats and luggage space jumps to 59.6 cubic feet, 5.6 more than the old model. However, the X6 M offers less room than the X5 M. Specifically, the boxier SUV offers an extra 6.5 cubic feet behind the second-row seats and an extra 12.7 cubic feet behind the front-row seats.

How does it fare against its rivals? Well, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe offers 21.2 cubic feet, while the Audi Q8 can take up to 21.4 cubic feet. This means that the X6 M trumps both with around six cubic feet of extra room. With the rear seats lowered, the Cayenne Coupe offers 54.3 cubic feet and the Audi Q8 comes with 62 cubic feet. While the Porsche offers less space, the Q8 features a slightly bigger trunk, offering an extra 2.4 cubic feet.

2020 BMW X6 M Drivetrain

  • Revised 4.4-liter V-8
  • Up to 617 horsepower
  • 553 pound-feet of torque
  • Lighter CLAR platform
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds
  • Revised M automatic transmission
  • Top speed at 177 mph
  • AWD system
2020 BMW X5 M
- image 864511

Just like the outgoing model, the X6 M shares drivetrain components with the X5 M. As a result, it comes with the same twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 under the hood.

A heavily revised version of the previous engine, the V-8 cranks out 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 to 5,690 rpm.

That’s an extra 33 horsepower compared to the old model. Torque remains unchanged, but the engine now benefits from a wider full torque range.

Just like the X5 M, the current-generation X6 M is available as a Competition model with more oomph. This is a first for the nameplate. The badge adds an extra 17 horses, taking total out of the V-8 up to 617. That’s 50 horsepower more than the old X6 M. The new two-model lineup enables BMW to better compete with Mercedes-Benz, which offers two power versions of the Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe. Likewise, Posrche offers two variants of the Cayenne Coupe Turbo, although one of them is actually a hybrid.

Mercedes has yet to unveil AMG versions of the GLE Coupe, but once it arrives, AMG GLE 63 Coupe will feature a 4.0-liter V-8 that cranks out 563 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful variant will be called the GLE 63 S and will come with the same engine, but rated at 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of twist. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo also features a 4.0-liter V-8, but output is lower at 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. The traditional Turbo S model was replacent by an E-Hybrid variant that cranks out a whopping 671 horses and 664 pound-feet of twist.

The upgraded engine enables the X6 M to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, while the X5 6 Competition reaches the benchmark in 3.7 clicks. Compared to the old model, the standard SUV is a tenth-second quicker, while the Competition version is two tenths faster.

The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and 63 S Coupe will have similar ratings at 3.8 and 3.7 seconds, respectively. The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe, on the other hand, is the quickest with a 0-to-60 mph benchmark of 3.6 seconds.

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
- image 874124

The X6 M’s top speed is limited to the usual 155 mph, but the optional M Driver’s Package enables the SUV to hit 177 mph. This is three mph higher than Mercedes-AMG models fitted with the AMG Driver’s Package and on par with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe. The Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe tops out at 183 mph, six mph higher.

The V-8 engine mates to a quick-shifting, M Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission with Drivelogic and an Active M differential, both helping the SUV achieve its impressive performance figures. The M-spec xDrive AWD system is rear biased and normally sends power to the rear wheels. This means you’ll enjoy an authentic BMW M feel when additional traction isn’t required. But once the X6 M feels that it needs more stability, oomph is directed to the front axle as well.

Another new feature in the X6 M is the M Sound Control button that enables you to soften or increase the growl of the performance exhaust system. The Competition model is fitted with a standard M Sport Exhaust system which provides an even sportier sound.

2020 BMW X6 M Chassis and Suspension

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
- image 874098
Chassis and suspension components are similar to the standard X6, but the setup was customized to suit the extra power and the performance-oriented drivetrain.

BMW added extra chassis bracing, stiffer engine and suspension mounts, increased front camber, and forged upper control arms. All these improve stability at high speeds, as well as stability through corners. The X6 M is well suited for track days at the Nurburgring!

The Adaptive M suspension Professional with Active Roll Stabilization is standard and provides better handling and comfort in all driving scenarios. The system collects data from body movement, road surface conditions, and steering movements and uses them to actively adjust the damper and stabilization bar settings. The Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus enable you to browse through various setting and tune the vehicle according to your route and driving scenario.

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
- image 874138
Stopping power comes from M compound brakes with drilled and vented disks.

The front brakes measure 15.5 inches and feature six-piston calipers, while the rear brakes measure 15 inches and feature single-piston calipers. If you opt for the larger, optional 21- and 22-inch wheels they will come wrapped in performance tires.

2020 BMW X6 M Driver Assist Technology

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
- image 874114
Just like its boxier sibling, the X5 M, the X6 M is packed with driver assistance systems.

The Active Driving Assistant package comes standard and adds a handful of active safety systems, including Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and front and rear Collision Warning. The Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert, and Speed Limit Information features are also included here.

BMW also offers an optional package called Driving Assistance Professional. It includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and it can be used at speeds of up to 130 mph. It maintains the preset speed while making sure that it doesn’t hit the vehicle in front. The system is able to bring the car to a stop then pull away again automatically, so you can relax more in stop-and-go traffic.

The bundle also includes Lane Keeping Assistant with Active Side Collision Protection to help you maintain the correct lane. If you go off track, the system emits visual warnings and makes the steering wheel vibrate. You also get Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for autonomous driving at speeds lower than 40 mph and Evasion Aid, which now reacts to pedestrians, reducing the risk of a collision.

Finally, Back-Up Assistant will help you maneuver the SUV in a confined area and tight parking spaces by pressing the gas and brake pedals only.

The same system will get the SUV out of the parking space as well.

2020 BMW X6 M Prices

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
- image 874100

Pricing for the BMW X6 M starts from $108,600, a big premium over the standard model, which retails from $64,300. Select the more powerful Competition model and the sticker jumps to $117,600. For reference, the X6 M is a bit more expensive than the X5 M, fetching a $3,500 premium. Compared to its rivals, the X6 M carries a similar sticker. The Audi RS Q8 is a bit more affordable at $113,000, while the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe is expected to come in at around $115,000. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe is a bit more expensive though, as it starts from $130,100.

2020 BMW X6 M Competition

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Exterior
- image 874973

Mercedes-Benz joined the segment a few years ago with a coupe version of the GLE and it also offers two AMG models. The GLE was redesigned in 2019 and Mercedes already rolled out AMG variants of the regular SUV, but the beefed-up coupe is not yet available. But it will arrive this year with the same engine under the hood. The coupe-styled Merc will feature the familiar twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 in both models The GLE 63 will generate 563 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, while the AMG GLE 63 S will come with 603 horses and 627 pound-feet. As you can see, both variants of the X6 M are a bit more powerful, but the Competition model falls behind the range-topping AMG in the torque department. Pricing will probably start from around $105,000 for the standard model and around $115,000 for the top-of-the-line version.

Read our speculative review of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe

Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe

Porsche is a newer carmaker to this niche, having launched a coupe variant of the Cayenne for the 2019 model year. Essentially identical to the regular Cayenne save for the coupe-style roof, the Cayenne Coupe is the better looking SUV as it doesn’t feature the hunchback style rear end. The German SUV is a solid competitor in the higher performance market thanks to a couple of Turbo models. First up, there the base Turbo powered by a 4.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Porsche no longer offer a Turbo S model, but it replaced it with hybrid. The gas-electric model pairs the 4.0-liter V-8 with an electric motor for a total output of 671 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of twist. Not only the most powerful in this comparison, it’s also the quickest with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.6 seconds. On the other hand, the comparison isn’t fair since the Bimmer doesn’t have an electric motor. Pricing starts from $130,100 for the Turbo Coupe and from $164,400 for the Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe. Needless to say, the Porsche is significantly more expensive.

Read our full reviews of the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe

Audi RS Q8

2020 Audi RS Q8 Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 874077

Like Porsche, Audi joined this niche in 2018 with the Q8. But the Q8 isn’t just a coupe version of the Q7. Audi actually designed this crossover on a clean sheet and the result is impressive. Inspired by the iconic Quattro, it’s very angular but at the same time aggressive too. And it also lacks the annoying hunchback rear end. Audi introduced the range-topping RS Q8 model for the 2020 model and it packs quite a lot of punch. Powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 and a 48-volt hybrid system, it comes with 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on tap. It needs only 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start and it tops out at 155 mph. Pricing for the RS Q8 starts from $113,000..

Read our full story on the 2020 Audi RS Q8


2020 BMW X6 M Exterior
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Now a better looking SUV, the X6 becomes hotter than ever in M guise. Not only more powerful than its predecessor, but it’s also available in Competition trim with even more extra oomph. Granted, it’s not much more powerful than the X6 M, but it enables BMW to compete with offerings from Mercedes-Benz. On top of that, the X6 M now features BMW’s latest driving assist system, so it’s not only safer than before, but it can also drive itself in certain scenarios, making trips far more relaxing for you, especially in stop-and-go traffic.

  • Leave it
    • Not good off-road
    • Styling still polarizing
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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