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Crossover coupe beaming brightly

It has confirmed early details of its new X6 and believes it will create a new path as 4WDs move deeper into the crossover world between existing car classes.

BMW is convinced there are plenty of potential customers for a vehicle that will look and drive like a prestige car but still sit high in traffic and move away from the existing family wagon styling.

“The X6 is a new concept. This is the most refined coupe SUV you will find in the world,” BMW Australia managing director Guenther Seemann says. “This is a real coupe. It will be coming at the beginning of next year.”

The man who heads the X6 program, former BMW motorsport engineer Albert Biermann, has been in Australia for the introduction of the X5 and confirms Seemann's glowing praise.

“This is something very different ... but still an X car,” he says.

BMW is expected to preview the X6 late this year or early next year, most likely at the Detroit motor show in January, once it has fired its new M3 V8 super coupe into action.

The X6 will be built at the BMW factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the success-story X5 is also built.

“I believe it will not compete with the X5 because it is a four-door, four-seater,” Seeman says. “Some 6 Series and Porsche 911 customers may want to drive a different car and this could be the X6.

“Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport are the kind of cars that will compete.”

Seemann says BMW will renew its vehicle line-up by 2011, hinting at new premium models beyond the X6.