Torque is a good thing. To any gearhead, having copious quantities of readily available torque available under their right foot is always welcome and the 2010 BMW X6 M has plenty to spare.
It’s been a quarter century since I drove a BMW for the first time. After years of reading Car and Driver’s praise of the 3 and 5 Series, my entre into the brand came via the big coupe which in those days was the 850i. The 8 series had supplanted the 6 series while moving significantly upmarket. The 8 was only produced for a single generation before giving way to an eventual revival of the 6 which I finally had a chance to drive recently in 650i form.
It’s now been about a decade since BMW first announced its plans to get into the hybrid game and it was another three years before any production models with electric drive assist hit the streets. A lot has changed since BMW launched the ActiveHybrid X6 and ActiveHybrid 7 essentially as experiments in 2009. Electrification is now becoming relatively mainstream with batteries and electric motors no longer limited to super-efficient cars like the Toyota Prius. After a week with the 2016 X5 xDrive40e, there’s no doubt that the future of the ultimate driving machine includes plugs across the board.
For more than four decades, one nameplate has represented has defined the sports sedan segment – BMW 3 Series. Whenever an automaker enters the compact premium sedan segment with a model that has even remotely sporting pretensions about it, the first question asked by reviewers is inevitably, “is this finally the 3 series killer?” As good as the competition has become over the years, the 3 series is still here, still widely regarded as the class benchmark and I just got to spend a week with 340i variant.
A good rule of thumb when attending an auto show is that the more radical looking a concept car is, the less likely it is to ever make it to production. Virtually every major brand is guilty of producing pieces of rolling sculpture that end up doing little more than introducing a couple of new design cues that end up on more mainstream models. When we first saw BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, it seemed to fall squarely into this category. Nevertheless, five years later something very much like that concept emerged as the first-ever i8.
In November 2008, I sat with a group of journalists on a hotel terrace in Beverly Hills to learn about BMW’s Project i which had the aim of a building a 21st century megacity car. In the middle of the terrace sat a fairly conventional-looking grey MINI hatchback that frankly didn’t look all that advanced. However, the lessons learned from that car and the other 500 examples just like it, led directly to the BMW’s first true, next-generation automobile, the i3.