And there's more happening inside.
The third-generation BMW X6 launched for the 2020 model year, meaning very soon it'll be time for its mid-life facelift, alongside its stablemate, the X5 SUV. The X5 and X6 attract different types of buyers but, as we learned years ago with the first-gen X6, a significant number of buyers desire a crossover coupe. Heck, BMW created the segment and rivals quickly followed suit. Not bad for utilizing an existing platform and drivetrain with a redesigned body.
A few days ago, our spy photographers snapped images of the 2024 X5 performing winter testing. It was wearing a camouflaged front end that's expected to resemble the styling language on the X3 and X4. Now, the refreshed X6 has been caught out and about sporting similar camo hiding slimmer headlights and a new grille. Importantly, the new grille design looks smaller on these mules than the pre-facelift model.
The rear end is also due for some changes though we think it'll be little more than a nip/tuck. The taillights are expected to get a new graphics design, but that's probably about it. Expect more changes inside. Both the X6 and X5 are due to receive the iDrive 8 infotainment system that'll feature dual screens and some new graphics. All upcoming Bimmers will receive the new interface, which is replete with full over-the-air updates.
We're not expecting any changes under the hood and that's just fine because, like the X5, the X6 comes standard with a 3.0 turbocharged inline-six rated at 335 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission or to all four wheels with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. a plug-in hybrid version is also available with 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft.
If that's good enough, there's always the M50i model that packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with a far healthier 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of twist. Buyers also get an M Sport suspension and brakes, unique body kit, ventilated front seats, and a 16-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system. It's possible these engines will be slightly tweaked with minor power bumps but nothing significant.
For now, we don't know exactly when BMW plans to reveal the facelifted X6 (and X5) but inside sources have indicated production will get underway at the Spartanburg, South Carolina production plant in April 2023.