BMW’s crazy, gravity-defying elephant

BMW X6

This is the M (high performance) version of BMW’s X6 – and it makes about as much sense as a texting elephant, says Paul Horrell in Top Gear. If the good Lord had meant elephants to text, he’d have given them thumbs. And if he’d meant BMW road cars to have racetrack levels of performance – well, he wouldn’t have made them 2.3 tonne SUVs. But even burdened by all that tonnage, this car “gives an amazing account of itself”.

It’s blisteringly fast in a straight line, getting to 62mph from rest in just 4.2 seconds and steaming onwards effortlessly into “three-figure velocity”. Even in the corners, it’s impressive: “it can pelt round at thoroughly improbably speeds, hardly leaning”, and has “near unbreakable” levels of traction. It’s a display of “Newton-defying craziness”.

The car is an answer to a question no one asked, says Dan Prosser in Evo, but as an engineering exercise, it’s “deeply impressive”. It’s the most powerful SUV on sale today, outpunching its nearest rival, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, by a full 5bhp. That makes it “alarming” to drive. “It doesn’t feel face-bendingly quick in the way that a powerful supercar would do, but the driver is well aware of just how much energy is being spent in order to overcome such massive inertia with quite so much disregard for good sense.”

You either get this car or you don’t, says Graeme Lambert in Car. Many hate its looks, but “thanks to the hum of steady customer demand, BMW isn’t listening”. This is a good, practical, finely crafted and explosively quick car.

Price: £93,070
Engine: V8, 4,395cc
Power: 567bhp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 553 lb ft at 2,200rpm
0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
Top speed: 155mph