2007 BMW X6 Concept

The car in the image to the left shows, according to BMW, "how the range of BMW X models the world over might be extended," but we'd rather just call it "overkill."

Yep, that's right: Call us crazy, but the world doesn't need another SUV or crossover. Let's go even further: Car companies that build fantastic sport sedans should stick to what they're good at, and refrain from building capable-but-pointless trucks. Ok, one more step: Trucks that do neither truck-specific things well nor car-specific things well have very little reason to exist. (OK, they give you a reason not to buy a minivan. But that's about it.)

That said, this is BMW's Concept X6. And if the four-door monstrosity above looks like a cross between a 5-series, an X5, and a 6-series, then that's perfectly logical, because that's exactly what it is. BMW's Concept X6 is claimed to be the world's first "Sport Activity Coupe" (remember, this is the same company that gave us the X5 and then insisted that it be called a "Sports Activity Vehicle," a term no one outside of Munich uses). As you'd expect, the company is pitching it as a half-coupe, half-SUV type of vehicle.

The Concept X6 would be largely uninteresting were it not for one thing: Its all-wheel-drive system, something BMW is calling Dynamic Performance Control (DPC), foreshadows the next generation of BMW's X-drive system. The provided tech details are vague, but essentially, DPC uses a set of electronically monitored chassis and suspension sensors to help optimize torque distribution between the rear wheels. This somewhat proven approach - Mitsubishi's Active Yaw Control, as found on the Lancer Evolution X, works in fundamentally the same way - is aimed at eliminating both understeer and oversteer, and providing maximum traction at all times. (Essentially, think of DPC as what would happen if a mechanical all-wheel-drive system had a baby with electronic stability control, and you'll be on the right track.) BMW claims that the system provides a chassis stabilization effect in both on- and off-throttle conditions.

Apart from that, little sets the Concept X6 apart from the growing crop of "meh" crossovers, save the fact that it's a BMW. Other things? It rides on unique y-spoke twenty-one-inch wheels, it has a nifty mirror trim/light combination along the lines of BMW's Angel Eyes/Corona Rings headlight treatment, and we'd probably like it a lot better if its ride height were about two inches lower. Based on the proliferation of X6 spy shots (prototypes were recently spotted during hot-weather testing), we'll probably see an only-mildly modified version of this design in showrooms for 2009.

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