Meet Butch. The ultimate Sandton pavement parker, robot racer and status showpiece rolled into one.
And, in this insidiously unisex world, a boy’s car.
Now while Sandton mothers might raise their professionally plucked eyebrows from their elevated 4×4 perches, let me be bold enough to say this is definitely not the latest in the series of school wagons.
Christened by my daughter, the proof that Butch is not carved out for the 7 am post Toasties run is the fact that he is not a 4×4. In fact he’s not even a SUV. Butch is a SAC. Yes, you were about to guess it, a Sports Activity Coupe with only FOUR seats. And let’s face it, men are better in a SAC.
His real name is the BMW X6 xDrive50i. Should I have stuck to Butch? And this latest Turbo charged monster is two tons of exhaust rumbling driving exhilaration.
To be more specific…the figures speak for themselves: with 300 kW (407 hp) up to 600 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 4,500 rpm and an average fuel consumption of 12.8l/100 km (EU composite figures) the 4.4 litre V8 engine in the BMW X6 xDrive50i delivers best-in-class efficiency.
OK, so I borrowed that blurb from one of those specialised understeer/oversteer, drag coefficient, bhp confuse-the-hell-out-of-me car reports. With tears running down my camshaft, I ask you who actually understands this stuff? Certainly not the guys who can cough up close to a bar for one of these SACs!
All I know is that the new powerhouse takes you to the 100 mark in the low fives…enough to blow off most of that dangerous new breed of racing 4x4s and quite a few low slung sports cars. But keep your Garage card handy…especially when you get the hang of those steering wheel buttons to change gears instead of mellowing through the six-speed tiptronic.
And while I’m wary of these monsters careering around our cities, the technology has improved radically since the early days of Land Rover roll. The X6 really is an exceptionally tight ride with, I am told, a hidden genius called adaptive drive control to prevent you flipping on the corners.
Enough of Butch’s personality…what about his looks. He’s been described as awkward, brutish, downright ugly, overstated, an X5 hatchback and, the ultimate insult for Sandtonites…a creation for the nouveau riche. How dare they!
I see the X6 styling as bold and adventurous. Like the BMW design team have awoken from a decade-long sleep. Sure it’s impractical, possibly even pointless, but it has a brutish, brooding attraction which is enhanced by the rumble from those two rectangular exhausts nestling beneath the immense tailgate.
There is a hint of the Stars and Stripes here…and it’s not surprising that the X6 is built in the North American plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
From a radical exterior to a…well it’s the traditional BMW interior. Clinical and uninspiring with all the controls you’ve had plenty of time to get used to.
So Butch hasn’t quite gone all the way…deep inside he’s still got that conservative side.
But try getting behind that traditional steering wheel. The new X6 Twin Turbo is a daringly different drive.
And, ok, maybe the girls will enjoy it too. I was only kidding…
This article originally appeared in Sandton Magazine