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2020 BMW X6 breaks cover with grille-mounted daytime running lights

by Ronan Glon

BMW put more effort into differentiating the X6 from the X5 than ever before. 

BMW continued its model offensive by unveiling the third-generation X6 online. The model is scheduled to join the X5 that it's based on in American showrooms in time for the 2020 model year.

The X6's overall proportions don't change much, it still looks like a fastback on stilts (or, ostensibly, a coupe), but finer details on both ends fall in line with BMW's latest design language. Up front, the grille gets bigger and the two sides are now connected in the middle. They're flanked by more angular headlights with high tech-looking LED inserts. Out back, thin horizontal lights emphasize the model's width, while a spoiler integrated into the hatch underlines the X6's sporty intentions.

BMW put more effort into differentiating the X6 from the X5 than ever before. They did this through styling, but also by adding model-specific features like an optional light-up grille that turns on at the same time as the daytime running lights. It's the first BMW to offer this feature, but it's likely not the last.

Most of the interior comes from the X5, including the driver-oriented center console, and the digital instrument cluster. Every model comes standard with navigation, tinted windows, a panoramic moonroof, ambient lighting, and Apple CarPlay. BMW still doesn't offer Android Auto, though.

Trunk space inevitably takes a hit in the name of style. The X6 offers 27.4 cubic feet with both rows of seats left up, or 59.6 cubes with the rear seat folded flat. To add context, the X5 checks in at 33.9 and 72.3, respectively.

At launch, the X6 line-up will include three models named sDrive40i, xDrive40i, and xDrive50i, respectively. The 40i models come with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six engine rated at 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The sDrive is rear-wheel drive, while the xDrive variant is all-wheel drive.

The 50i gets a turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 tuned to deliver 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It's all-wheel drive-only, and an eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard regardless of how many cylinders are under the hood, or which wheels are driven. The V8-powered X6 takes 4.1 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop, while the six-cylinder model takes about a full second more.

If that's not enough, keep in mind that an M-tuned hot rod with over 600 horsepower will join the line-up a little bit later in the production run. European buyers will have access to several diesel options, and a plug-in hybrid model will arrive before the end of the model's production run to help BMW keep its promise of offering an electrified version of every car it sells.

Built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the 2020 BMW X6 will begin arriving in showrooms in November 2019. Pricing starts at $64,300 for the sDrive40i model, while buyers who want eight cylinders will need to spend at least $85,650. Neither figure includes a mandatory $995 destination charge.

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