New X6 proves BMW can sell anything

BMW released photos and a few details of its updated 2013 X6 model. A slightly more conservative look and carryover engine choices show little has changed from the first-generation model.

2013 BMW X6
The front end of the X6 loses some of its aggressive character for the 2013 update. BMW

When the X6 launched, it was an odd-enough shape and so lacking in utility that even BMW did not count on it being a big seller.

But ahead of the 2013 model update, BMW points to the more than 20,000 of the cars sold in the U.S. as a measure of its success. Essentially an X5 with reduced utility, the first-generation X6 played up to a bad-boy image.

Now BMW has released some photos ahead of the launch of the 2013 X6, and the styling changes make it look more conservative, with a front end similar to that of the 5 Series. Does this mean the X6 will start getting beaten up in the parking lot by Porsche Cayennes?

Although it may look mild-mannered now, the new model carries over the engines of the old. Whether equipped with the 3-liter straight six or the 4.4-liter V-8, direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger ensure that the new X6 will go as fast as the old. The only transmission available, an eight-speed automatic, should lend itself to good fuel economy.

BMW also announced a new M Performance package available for the car, which, along with handling upgrades, boosts engine output by 15 horsepower for the six-cylinder and 40 horsepower for the V-8. The X6 M will also still be available, boasting a 555-horsepower V-8 and suspension technology that makes this big vehicle feel like a nimble sports car.

The most innovative new feature in the X6 is the LED headlights. These new headlights, available as an option, use adaptive technology that illuminates the road based on how the wheel is turned.

This new X6 should be at the upcoming International Motor Show in Geneva, and will go on sale in the spring.

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