However, what I did not expect to happen was to receive help from BMW to make this relatively boring adventure a lot more entertaining. The automaker offered me a choice for the 1,200-mile (1,931-kilometer) trip I had in mind – the marque made me pick between the V8-powered BMW X6 M Competition and the brand-new iX M60.
For enthusiasts, the choice is obvious. Nothing beats raw power and immersive sound coming from a 4.4-liter gas engine that’s capable of 617 HP (625 PS) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque. The V8 will never be forgotten.
For people who like the zero-tailpipe emission experience and the latest design language from BMW, the iX M60 is the right answer. After all, this aerodynamic behemoth puts out 611 HP (619 PS) and 748 lb-ft (1,015 Nm) of torque thanks to its two very capable motors and smart all-wheel-drive system.
Making the choiceNow, the thing is that I side with nobody. I like internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as much as the all-electric ones. Each has its ups and downs. Hits and misses can be found on both sides of the aisle.
To make everything simpler, I decided that it would be best to approach this situation as a kid that is excited to drive his first M. After all, this trip was thought out right from the get-go as an experience that would take me and my fiancée temporarily out of our day-to-day lives.
While the inner kid was fascinated by the tech surrounding the iX M60, its instantaneous power delivery, and bold looks, he was more in love with the appearance of the X6 M Competition. Somehow, the impractical Sports Activity Coupe (SAC, as BMW calls its SUVs that aren’t made for leaving the pavement) made him smile more. His little heart was pounding.
I couldn’t disagree. The blacked-out kidney-shaped grille looked fantastic in contrast with the paint job, other polycarbonate elements, and the rear diffuser that housed four exhaust tips. The front look of this BMW M is, however, what demanded the most amount of attention. It looks serious yet somehow diabolical at the same time. A glance is enough to figure out that this isn’t your average grocery-getter. No, this vehicle is more of a wild animal that has been domesticated throughout the years and now partners up with his human to conquer the roads. It’s a menace that remains under your control.
So, the X6 M Competition was my choice.
Discovering the limitless M worldAnd, oh boy, was it the right one! Not only is the X6 M Competition mean-looking, but it is also luxurious. The Bavarians know how to give you duality – the vehicle can waft along like a majestic limousine (even though, admittedly, the suspension is a bit harsh at times), and, at the push of a button, it transforms into a tight racer.
I have driven the X6 M Competition on highways, in the city, on unpaved roads, and through scenic mountain passes. It never felt out of place. It’s not very big, but it has a decent size to make you feel like you own the roads. If you treat it right, it won’t ever put you in harm’s way.
The M seats were fantastic, and both of us liked their adjustability. The sound system gave us exactly what we desired when music was the only thing we wanted to hear, and the luggage space was more than enough. I could see myself making a longer trip comfortably with two other friends or two kids with no issues whatsoever.
During the whole trip, the inner kid was happy that I listened to him.
The only thing that bugged me was the attention the X6 M Competition received from random people. Parking at hotels and restaurants was a bit of a challenge. There were almost always some teenagers that wanted to hear a rev or take a picture with it. Of course, I indulged when possible and shared the joy with them.
Finally, I will admit that I found the X6 M Competition to be a bit too much. Yes, it looks great, it drives fantastic, the power is addictive, the tech available to both driver and passengers makes everything easier, and the safety and comfort features are more than welcome. There aren’t any serious complaints that I feel are worth mentioning here. This SAC truly is a complete package.
But it made me think – do we really need vehicles this big powered by thirsty engines? I am inclined to say no. In a world where we must deal with so many environmental and geopolitical problems, driving a vehicle as the X6 M Competition feels like an undeserved privilege, a sin. Granted, it’s a majestic one. It allows you to indulge in one of the best drivetrains that are currently available. It also opens so many possibilities! Just hearing the V8 roaring into life offers you enough confidence to turn any day into a great one.
Now, after departing with this Bimmer that left me in an introspective state, I can’t help but wonder – wouldn’t the iX M60 have been the better choice?
Thanks for tuning into the last day of V8 Month here, on autoevolution!