The G06 BMW X6 isn’t actually that old – it made its debut in the summer of 2019 (yes, it does seem like eons ago now) and was launched in Malaysia just last year. But time waits for no Sports Activity Coupé, so Munich is getting a head start in preparing for a facelift, and there seems to be lots of changes in store.
Judging by the development prototype spotted by our spy photographers, none of those changes will be found on the outside – aside from the crude placeholder headlights, the car looks identical to the current model. But do expect the real deal to come with new front and rear fascias and new headlight graphics at the very least, as is typical for a BMW Life Cycle Impulse (LCI).
However, it’s on the inside where the company will really go to town. The mule sports the curved display panel from the new iX, consisting of a 12.3-inch instrument display and a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. These are linked to a brand new iDrive infotainment system that integrates the climate controls – you can even see a sticker on top of the air vents that says that the car’s discrete heater controls do not function.
Also visible on the centre console is a stubby toggle-style gear selector that replaces the outgoing car’s electronic shifter, drawing plenty of inspiration of the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf and 992 Porsche 911. As you can see from the shift diagram, the sequential manual gate has been eliminated, so you’ll no longer be able to play race car driver during spirited driving (although you’ll still be able to use the paddle shifters).
This being an early prototype, you can clearly see that this is a cut-and-shut job, utilising the existing X6’s dashboard. Aside from the aforementioned non-functioning climate controls, one can also spot remnants of the old instrument cluster binnacle, gaping holes and hastily-relabelled steering wheel buttons. Still, it’s interesting to see that BMW is wasting no time in equipping its existing models with the latest tech.
As for the mechanicals, expect the facelifted X6 to come with revised versions of the current engines, which include straight-six and V8 engines. The thumping 4.4 litre twin-turbocharged V8 in the X6 M, which makes up to 625 PS and 750 Nm in the Competition model, will likely remain unchanged.