“Good or award-winning design does not necessarily mean something that is classically pretty. Take for example the arts world, where the most acclaimed pieces are always the ones that push boundaries. Our design winner this year is certainly no beauty queen, and it ceratinly pushes boundaries… The BMW X6’s concept, the SUV-coupé, is a fresh idea, and BMW’s executive has resulted in a vehicle that defies categorisation. There is simply nothing out there like it and its head-turning ability is nearly off the scale. Of course it is not universally liked, and the discussion that led to it receiving this award was a fiery and extremely polarised one. But in the end nobody could argue that as far as interesting design goes, the X6 dominated 2008. We applaud BMW’s bravery, especially in an era where economics and legislation appear to be working together to kill automotive designers’ inherent creativity” — quoted from the CAR Awards 2009, CAR magazine, March 2009 issue.
So, two years later, does that passage still ring true for the BMW X6? Well, since a generously-specced BMW X6 xDrive40d joined our long-term test fleet earlier this year, it has been tasked to strut its stuff on several occasions… finished in metallic grey and fitted with striking aluminium running boards and Y-spoke 20-inch rims, the sportily-styled SAV is instantly recognisable. So far, it has donned white ribbons for three wedding (bridal car) assignments and had outings from Cape Town to Montagu, Brittania Bay, Paternoster and Plettenberg Bay respectively.
Some road users’ attitudes have at times been less than courteous when driving in close proximity of the X6, but then others seem to be intimidated by the sheer size of the SAV, replete with its gleaming “Corona ring” headlamp clusteres and brushed aluminium accents, drawing closer in their rear-view mirrors. But then, there has been little doubt about the BMW’s “sculptural value” from an aesthetic point of view. Most observers remark that they like the X6’s “raised haunches” and plunging shoulder line in combination with the attractive alloys and elevated ride height. The saloon-like contours of the front end have also drawn praise, especially the brushed metal grille and the (relatively) ornate front bumper with its elegant foglamp housings.