OUT OF OFFICE | BMW
by Carl Wepener
BMW X6 Pure Emotion
When the first BMW X6 was launched, I immediately fell in love with this incomparable yet macho machine. There was nothing small about the X6 and, even now, with the latest version, it is still not small. It is still irresistible and a bit more comparable, since it complements not only the other segments of BMW, but is also a competitor for one of its main contenders – Mercedes-Benz.
The overall design still makes me think of a rugby loose forward, for it is big, intimidating, and the pinnacle of true athleticism. Although not far removed from the previous model, the subtle changes do make a difference to its looks, and, much more importantly, to its technical abilities.
The design is striking and the X6, equipped with a range of optional equipment, is pure extravagance. Add to that the M Sport package and the functionality is on a totally new level, making it an even more fun vehicle to drive.
The dynamics of the BMW truly come to light when driven fast on challenging roads; only then do the imposing performance and exemplary efficiency come into play. I could therefore not understand (and this is said somewhat tongue in cheek) why we had to travel on some really hazardous roads in Mpumalanga where the cars could be seriously damaged, and, furthermore, what was
the reasoning behind this, especially when you are warned to look out for such hazards? How would we be able to enjoy the true spectrum of the X6’s abilities while being hampered to such an extent? When all is said and done, the X6 is up to such challenges.
We were not left in any doubt as to the severity of some of the road hazards, but what really amazed us was the ease with which such hazards could be avoided – even at a high speed –through the excellent braking dynamics and precision swerving response provided by the X6 every time that it was needed. Even braking on the gravel roads when a kudu decided it had right of way was excellent.
The dynamics and the fluency of the engines and gearboxes are right up there with the best of superior vehicles and the agility achieved through BMW xDrive is something to enjoy.
As always, comfort has not been neglected. If you want spacious comfort, don’t look any further.
The X6 is ergonomically one of the best and everything is exactly where it is supposed to be. The excellent quality and finishing add to the exclusivity of such opulence. Previously, we would have had a lovely music system for entertainment while driving, but now the BMW X6 gives so much more through its BMW ConnectedDrive, which falls into two categories. In the first category is the driver-assistance systems, which provide important information about the current driving situation and are there to assist drivers in challenging or uncomfortable driving situations. The second category of systems comprises BMW ConnectedDrive Services and Apps, which offer a host of different functions. Via a mobile phone or Internet connection, these functions supply information and entertainment services to support a driving experience which is safe, comfortable, and full of interest and variety. The optional Navigation System Professional (only optional in xDrive35i and xDrive40d) comes with a 10.25-inch central dashboard display and a Touch Controller.
Another great function forming part of this, in addition to cruise control with braking function, is the optional Driving Assist safety package. This camera-based driver-assistance system includes Lane Departure Warning. The package also includes a Pedestrian and Collision Warning system with Braking function. Additional convenience when driving in town is provided by the optionally available BMW Parking Assist. This system helps the driver identify and drive into parallel parking spaces.
Further aids to easy manoeuvring include Park Distance Control (PDC), with sensors at the front and rear of the vehicle (standard on all models), the optional rear-view camera (standard on all models), and optional Surround View (standard on the BMW X6 xDrive50i and M50d) system, which displays a 360-degree view of the vehicle and its surroundings in the Control Display, while the Panorama View front and rear monitoring function provides a better view of cross-traffic when emerging from an exit with poor visibility. For the new BMW X6, the BMW Head-Up Display – which projects important information in full colour onto the windscreen – now includes additional content. When required, telephone contact lists and entertainment information can also be projected into the driver’s direct field of view. As well as vehicle speed, the 3D graphics also show Check Control messages, navigation information – including lane recommendations, speed limits and overtaking restrictions – and further information supplied by the driver-assistance systems.
Safety at night can be enhanced by the optional Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Selective Beam for optimised high-beam use, as well as standard LED fog lights and the BMW Night Vision system, which now detects not only pedestrians but also animals and includes Dynamic Light Spot.
Perfect connectivity with BMW ConnectedDrive Services is available at all times. The built-in SIM card also supports the transmission of BMW TeleServices data, in-car Internet access, and the Concierge Service customers can use, say, to make hotel reservations. Another standard specification on the new BMW X6 is a hands-free system with USB port, allowing the vehicle to be used as a mobile office. Among other things, these apps support web radio functions, social-media functions such as Facebook and Twitter, and other BMW ConnectedDrive online features.