BMW's 2011 model updates are well underway, with the X1, Z4, 1-Series, 3-Series, and 5-Series already revealed in one form or another. Now it's time for the 2011 BMW X6 (2010 model pictured), which gets the new N55 twin-scroll single-turbo and an eight speed transmission among other updates.
The new eight-speed automatic is found throughout the range, replacing the six-speed unit previously found in the vehicle, though the monstrous 555-horsepower X6 M isn't part of the update. Europeans will still get the xDrive30d, a smaller diesel than what we'll see here in the U.S., though the xDrive40d looks to up the output a bit over the current X5 xDrive35d. Both the 30d and 40d use the same 2,993 cc displacement, but the 30d adds a single turbo, while the 40d runs two turbos and more boost pressure for a 306-horsepower and 442-pound-foot rating. No word on U.S. availability of the X6 xDrive40d has been released yet.
Gasoline-powered 2011 X6s include the xDrive35i and xDrive50i. The 35i gets the updated N55 single-turbo, twin-scroll engine, while the 50i uses the same 4.4-liter direction-injection turbo V-8 found in the current vehicle. The addition of the eight-speed auto ought to help improve fuel efficiency for both. Acceleration in either model is brisk, with claimed 0-62 mph times of 6.7 seconds for the xDrive35i and 5.4 seconds for the xDrive50i.
EPA ratings for the updated lineup aren't out yet, but EU combined ratings for the xDrive35i are 23.3 US mpg, and the xDrive50i rates 18.8 mpg. Those numbers don't compare directly with EPA figures due to different testing methodology, but they do give a feel for the vehicle's basic yield. The diesel models rate even better in EU testing, at 31.8 mpg combined for the 30d, and 31.3 mpg combined for the 40d.
Other features and options largely carry over from the 2010 BMW X6, and U.S. market-specific options are likely to vary, so we'll have to hold for word of final details. The 2011 BMW X6 will be available in Europe from April, with U.S. dealers expected to take inventory soon after.
For more on the current X6, check out our test of the 2010 X6 M at Road Atlanta.