The third-generation BMW X6 will be revealed tonight but we already know how it’ll look courtesy of some leaked images

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The coupe SUV niche will welcome in a matter of hours a new iteration of the model that, arguably, made the niche a thing: BMW’s X6. The third-generation of the supposedly sleeker sibling of the X5 will sit on the same CLAR platform, will be built at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant, and will again be offered with the M treatment. As was the case with the G05-generation X5, we get to share what seems like official press images with you all before the unwrapped X6 is supposed to the light of day.

Are you tired of SUVs with sloping rooflines that try to fool you into thinking they are actually gracious? Did you mumble unholy words upon seeing the Cayenne Coupe? Then, the new X6 may not be the SUV for you and we get you but be sure BMW will sell tons of these so it’s worth sparing a second look.

The X6’s design is that of an X4 that’s hit puberty

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As consumers continue to shift away from sedans and station wagons and look to buy crossovers and SUVs in ever greater numbers, manufacturers are more than happy to offer them more options to choose from. Genesis made the terrible mistake of making its grand entrance onto the market with a trifecta of sedans backed by no SUVs. BMW, however, knows better and its offering is littered with many models from the by-now famous X family that turns 20 this year - yes we’re old!

The X6 fell a bit behind in terms of looks as the second-generation model that debuted in 2014 has been kept alive up until this year - in itself just a revised version of the original 2008 X6. But BMW will rectify this with the 2020 MY X6 that’s all-new although not all that different compared to the old one.

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In the front, you'll be greeted by BMW's now-signature mammoth kidney grilles with moveable slats that sit above a segmented lower grille which incorporates the forward facing camera as well.

On either side of this grille, there are two other inlets giving the new X6 a more aggressive look even in standard trim. The point LED headlights are basically identical to those on the X5 while the elongated LED taillights in the back are very similar to what you’d find in the back of an X4. Compared to the old X6, the third-generation model’s trunk has a more complicated shape and the taillights too are a bit different, the top bit curving upwards around the rear corners of the SUV. Then there are also the menacing vertical vents that open on either side of the rear fascia that are nowhere to be found on the more docile-looking second-gen X6.

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Overall, the design continues to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair and, in the end, it’s got to do with your personal view on the segment as a whole: if you like coupe SUVs, you’ll dig the X6, if you don’t, then you’ll start blinking as soon as you notice one on the road (although we don’t advise you doing so if you’re actually out driving yourself). Having said this, the X5 is definitely more edgy-looking than the curved Cayenne Coupe that would win a beauty contest between the two.

Moving on from what meets the eye, there won’t be many differences between the X5 and the X6 in the drivetrain department. Most reports say that two diesel versions will be available in the xDrive30d and xDrive40d while the gas-powered models will be aplenty: you’ll get to choose from the xDrive40i, xDrive50i, and the xDrive45e plug-in hybrid. The M Performance diesel version might only be sold in Europe while the M50i could be a North-American-only model - we’ll have to await confirmation on this, though. The M50d will sport a quad-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, six-pot capable of over 400 horsepower. Meanwhile, the xDrive40i will pack a turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six and the xDrive50i will be offered with a beastly twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8.

If you want numbers, we can tell you an X5 xDrive50i puts out 456 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 479 pound-feet of torque between 1,500 and 4,750 rpm.

The M50i, meanwhile, that features the same 4.4-liter N63B44T3 V-8, cranks out 523 horsepower and 553 horsepower. The 0-60 mph time of the latter is 4.1 seconds, 0.6 seconds quicker than the xDrive50i. Expect similar performance from the X6 while the X6M should deliver at least 600 horsepower in standard trim so more can be unlocked with the Competition package. We’ve seen the X6M around the Nurburgring-Nordschleife a number of times already and you can be sure that all the gimmicks that will be put on the X5M will make their way on the X6M too.

That’s also the case inside. While we don’t have many details to share with you right now, the X6 will surely pack BMW’s latest seventh-generation iDrive infotainment system. Less headroom in the back is also a given. The X6 will go on sale towards the end of 2019 and will arrive in showrooms early next year with a base price in the $65,000 ballpark - it has to be a bit pricier than the X5 that starts at $60,700 and goes all the way to $75,750.

Further reading

2020 BMW X6 Exterior Spyshots
- image 784761

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW X6.

2015 BMW X6 High Resolution Exterior
- image 555206

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X6.

2019 BMW X5
- image 782572

Read our full review on the new, 2019 BMW X5.

2020 BMW X6 M Exterior Spyshots
- image 802393

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW X6M

2019 BMW X4 Exterior
- image 768442

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X4.

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert -
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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