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2008 BMW X6 - Exclusive In-Depth Look at the New SAV Coupe - VIDEO FEATURE

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Meet the “El Exigente” of the Automotive World

Produced and Edited by Marc J. Rauch, Exec. VP/Co-Publisher

Why do all the wines from a great winery taste great? Because they have one chief winemaker who decides on what the taste characteristics of the wines should be. The same can be said of great restaurant groups: they have one chief chef upon whose judgment they rely for their distinctive and unique taste.

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Savarin Coffee's El Exigente
In coffee marketing, Savarin created a mythical TV character known as El Exigente, the demanding one, to trade upon the idea that there was one person responsible for insuring that every cup of Savarin was as good as the last.*
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The Little Old Winemaker
For those of you old enough to remember El Exigente, you’ll probably also recall Italian Swiss Colony’s fictional taste expert, who would end each commercial by answering the question of who was responsible for creating such fine wines with, “ The little old winemaker, me.”**

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Heinz Krusche, BMW's taste master, behind the wheel
Well, it turns out that BMW, one of the world’s great automobile makers has their very own top chef El Exigente, only he’s not a fictional character. Heinz Krusche, the man who has put his personal stamp of approval on every BMW vehicle for nearly three decades, is as real as you and me.

Here’s how I learned about Heinz: I recently had the opportunity to travel to South Carolina to test drive BMW’s all-new X6 SAV. Well, it took no time at all behind the wheel to deduce that the X6 handled like every other BMW that I’ve ever driven, which is to say that it is a wonderful driving machine. At the end of the first stage of the route, I was asked by Tom Plucinsky, BMW’s Product and Technology Communications Manager, what my initial impression was. I did not respond quickly. In all truth, it was a difficult question because as I indicated above, the X6 simply drives like a BMW, so there was nothing new that I could think of to say. So I said to Tom, “It drives like a BMW…and I mean that in a good way.”

Perhaps sensing my difficulty and understanding that my comment was not meant to be uncomplimentary, Tom quickly declared, “There’s a good reason for that. All BMWs in recent years have had to meet the personal approval of one man, Heinz Krusche, and he here if you’d like to talk with him.”

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Now, I’ve been test driving and writing about cars for more than 20 years, but I never heard about this before: that there’s one man responsible for the feel of every BMW vehicle. Needless to say, I was intrigued and I knew I had to include a video interview with Heinz as part of my coverage of the X6.

Therefore, we’re pleased to present exclusive video not just of Clemens Zimmermann, the X6 Product Manager, describing the new SAV coupe, but an exclusive video with Heinz Krusche behind the wheel of the X6 as he takes us around the Michelin Proving Grounds Test Track.

* Savarin’s El Exigente preceded the National Federation of Coffee Growers’ Juan Valdez (another mythical traveling coffee taster) on television commercials by about 10 years.
** Legendary actor/voice-over artist Jim Backus was the voice of the Little Old Winemaker. Ludwig Stossel, the actor that played the on-screen character also played Lou Gehrig’s father in “The Pride of the Yankees” (Gary Cooper was Gerhig).

Click PLAY to watch the Clemens Zimmermann video

Click PLAY to watch the Heinz Krusche in-car interview

X6 Overview

A completely new type of vehicle, a unique design concept and driving dynamics never seen before – all this becomes reality in the new BMW X6. The world’s first Sports Activity Coupé offers features and abilities not available in a comparable combination in any other car the world over. In its design the new BMW X6 combines the sporting elegance of a large BMW Coupé with the powerful presence of a BMW X model. The unique driving characteristics of the BMW X6, in turn, come from the innovative combination of driving dynamics on the road so typical of BMW and absolute supremacy on all kinds of terrain. So this is a unique coupé and, at the same time, a very special BMW X model.

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With its low-slung side windows and the roofline tapering out to the rear, the BMW X6 unmistakably boasts the proportions of a genuine coupé. Inside – again in typical coupé style – the BMW X6 accommodates the driver and front passenger as well as two further passengers at the rear. Extra ground clearance, strikingly designed wheel arches, four doors, the large rear hatch as well as the high waistline bear a clear resemblance in style to BMW’s other X models. This design is indeed an authentic expression of the dynamic driving potential offered by the BMW X6 through its drivetrain and suspension technology not only on the road, but also on rough terrain and off the beaten track.

The BMX X6 comes as standard with BMW’s intelligent xDrive for variable distribution of drive power between the front and rear axle. In addition, this is the first vehicle in the world to feature Dynamic Performance Control likewise fitted as standard for variable distribution of drive forces between the two rear wheels. So regardless of the actual power and traction coming from the engine, the power and torque delivered, say, to the outer wheel in a bend can be actively increased whenever required. This system – unique the world over – significantly enhances steering precision, traction on bends and, accordingly, the agility of the vehicle even at moderate speeds. On fast bends and in abrupt steering manoeuvres or when suddenly taking back engine power, Dynamic Performance Control serves furthermore to enhance the stability of the vehicle, allowing the driver to safely enter a new dimension of driving dynamics. On slippery and mixed surfaces, finally, Dynamic Performance Control offers the advantage of even better and more reliable traction.

BMW’s new V8 power unit with Twin Turbo technology and direct petrol injection is also making its world debut in the BMW X6. Displacing 4.4 litres, this outstanding 8-cylinder develops a maximum output of 300 kW/407 bhp and peak torque of 600 Newton-metres/442 lb-ft across an unusually large speed range from 1,750–4,500 rpm, and is therefore the most powerful drive unit ever featured in a BMW X model. This new 8-cylinder stands out not only due to its supreme power and torque, but also due to its compact dimensions. It is indeed the first 8-cylinder petrol engine in the world with its turbochargers in the V-area between the two rows of cylinders.

Front end with powerful presence and clear focus on the road.
In its design the BMW X6 shows the typical look of a vehicle with the DNA of a BMW X model re-interpreted in this case in unique, sporting style: the BMW X6 stands out as a genuine BMW from every angle, with the sculptural looks so characteristic of all BMW X models. The front, sides and rear end of the car flow smoothly and directly into one another, their shapes and surfaces merging to form one harmonious unit.

Right from the start, the flair and look of the front end give BMW’s new Sports Activity Coupé powerful presence. Due to the larger share of surfaces finished in body colour, however, the BMW X6 creates the impression of being lower and even more sporting, emphasising its dynamic orientation to the road. The DNA typical of a BMW X car is also to be admired on the engine compartment lid, in the dual round headlights cut off at the top, and in the structure of the BMW kidney grille in upright position. Large air intakes positioned far to the outside not only clearly indicate the cooling requirements of the powerful engines, but also, together with the side panels stretching to the inside far beyond the headlights, provide clear visual orientation to the wheels, again bearing testimony to the stable stance of the vehicle on the road. The air intakes at the side are split horizontally by bars in aluminium colour also surrounding the round fog lamps.

Side view: dynamic roofline, muscular surfaces.
The unique proportions of the BMW X6 stand out particularly from the side. The short front body overhang emphasises the dynamic character of the vehicle, the roofline tapering out gently to the rear and the long body overhang at the rear end give the BMW X6 its stretched coupé silhouette. With the roof reaching its highest point directly over the front row of seats, the driver receives particular emphasis as a special effect reflecting the extravagant design of the BMW X6.

The high waistline and the powerfully flared wheel arches front and rear moving the visual centre of gravity to the middle and thus referring clearly to all-wheel drive are further significant elements of BMW X with its unique genes. Slender plastic protectors at the bottom of the bumpers, on the sills and the wheel arches also provide discreet reference to the robust character of the BMW X6. Rear end characterised by strong shoulders and a powerful stance on the road.

Features and characteristics typical of elegance, sportiness and robustness likewise come together in fascinating style at the rear end to form a harmonious entity. A powerful bumper and the protector panel on the underfloor are classical elements of a BMW X model in its design. At the same time the new vehicle comes in the proportions typical of a coupé but in the special style and class of a BMW X model. The greenhouse with its unusually angled rear window tapers out smoothly to the rear, the rear hatch with its striking airflow spoiler adding a further feature typical of a coupé. The entire rear view is split up by horizontal lines giving the rear end of the BMW X6 an even wider look and emphasising the powerful stance of the car on the road. Even the rear lights, in their design, highlight the unique character of the BMW X6, re-interpreting the L-shape so typical of a BMW X model and adding a dynamic, flowing look.

Sporting and exclusive interior.

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The interior of the BMX X6 offers a unique combination of exclusive luxury, sporting dynamics and powerful design to the very last detail. Sophisticated, high-quality surfaces make the interior an outstanding experience in touch and looks. And like all BMW X models, the new Sports Activity Coupé offers an elevated, commanding seating position giving the driver an even better feeling of security and superiority in his BMW X6.

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The new model also stands out from the existing models in the BMW X range due to the two single seats at the rear in sporting design, separated by the centre console and offering both superior side support and integrated headrests.

The BMW X6 is the only model within the competitive environment of the BMW X models to have a sports steering wheel with shift paddles as standard. They are for manual change of drive position in conjunction with the 6-speed automatic transmission, likewise a standard feature. Yet another sporting feature is provided by the new knee pads on the centre console offering both the driver and front passenger additional support and stability, for example in sudden manoeuvres in city traffic but also when driving off-road on rough terrain.

Lots of space, wide range of options for customisation.
The rear doors opening up to a wide angle significantly facilitate access to the two rear seats. An unusually generous feature for a coupé is the substantial headroom at the rear, 944 millimetres or 37.2” giving even tall passengers maximum comfort at all times. Seen from the rear, the window graphics of the BMW X6 create a feeling of forward-striving openness and, as a result, a generous experience of space.

The passenger and luggage compartments in the BMW X6 are clearly separated from one another in typical coupé style. The useful luggage compartment behind the rear seats offers capacity of 570 litres, far more than the space usually available in a coupé. Among other things, this enables four passengers in a BMW X6 to take along four golf bags in the luggage compartment. To increase luggage capacity even further, the rear seat backrest folds down asymmetrically, with luggage capacity increasing to a maximum of no less than 1,450 litres or 50.8 cubic feet. A two-stage gas spring featured as standard, to mention yet another feature, allows the driver and his passengers to determine the final position of the rear lid individually when open according to their requirements. This avoids the risk of damage, for example when opening the lid in an indoor car park with a low ceiling.

The exterior paintwork comes in a range of ten colours, while the interior offers five equipment variants, two interior colours and five trim variants for a wide range of choice. Trim strips in ash grain and flywheel aluminium are available exclusively on this new Sports Activity Coupé, while the seat upholstery comes with a choice of various high-quality cloth and leather variants as well as a new combination of alcantara and leather exclusive to the BMW X6.

Perfect combination of superior dynamics and outstanding comfort.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the world’s first Sports Activity Coupé offers new dimensions clearly defined by a significant increase in agility, unique stability in fast bends, and safe traction on slippery surfaces. Powerful engines, BMW’s intelligent xDrive technology, DSC Dynamic Stability Control, optional Active Steering and Adaptive Drive, as well as Dynamic Performance Control featured for the first time – as standard – on the BMX X6, together with the wider rear track, set the foundation for supreme driving dynamics.