In its dying days, AMC foisted upon us a perversion called the Eagle SX/4. This may have inspired the late, unlamented Pontiac Aztek, which helped seal the excitement division's fate beginning in 2001 (coincidentally the year Bob Lutz arrived to save General Motors).
I cannot imagine why, but BMW picked up the very same high-riding hunchback thread for its X6 "sports activity coupe." Compounding the matter, we now have the X6M high-performance edition, which converts what began as an Eagle into a turkey of epic proportions.
Getting in necessitates a climb up while clearing the awkwardly low door cut. Exiting requires a leap out to clear the extra-wide side-sill extensions.
The combination of a twin-turbo 555-hp V-8 with a well-orchestrated six-speed automatic and a clever all-wheel-drive system launches this blunt, 5257-pound missile most expeditiously - to 60 mph in an impressive 4.2 seconds. Cornering and braking are also exemplary.
I should be very impressed but I'm not because of all the M canons violated by the X6M. Four years ago, when I attended the introductory ceremony for BMW's 5.0-liter V-10 engine (seen in the M5 and M6), the sanctity of those canon principles were clearly affirmed:
- Thou shalt use only the rear wheels for propulsion.
- Thou shalt not aspirate engines with superchargers or turbochargers.
- Thou shalt not equip any M vehicle with an automatic transmission.
- No truck is worthy of an M badge.
And let me add to that my own fifth commandment: Thou shalt not exceed 4000 pounds of curb weight for any reason short of nuclear conflict.
I am very worried about BMW's new "efficient dynamics" marketing philosophy and how the sacred M badge has been soiled by association with one of the dumbest products in motoring history. Someone high in AMC heaven is laughing uncontrollably.
Don Sherman, Technical Editor