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BMW: 2020 X6 debuts illuminated grille, has active air slats too

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Repair Operations | Technology
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Auto body shops and insurers will encounter another new piece of technology in prime collision real estate with the upcoming next-generation 2020 BMW X6.

BMW said July 3 the latest version of the “Sports Activity Coupe” will mark “the premiere for the optional illuminated BMW kidney grille.”

“The illumination can either be activated by unlocking and locking the vehicle or turned on and off manually,” BMW continued in a news release. “The illuminated grille is part of the daytime running light feature and can remain on while the vehicle is in motion.”

The single-piece grille also is home to another piece of technology: active air slats, which open and close themselves themselves automatically for better aerodynamics. These appear to come standard, as do “slim, trapezoidal Adaptive Full LED headlights.”

BMW of North America said it sold 6,862 X6s in 2018. It said its Sports Activity Vehicle lineup accounted for 63 percent of sales in 2018.

The prior-generation 2015 X6 announced in 2014 offered adaptive LED headlights as an option but didn’t appear to contain the active shutters.

BMW hasn’t yet responded to emails seeking comment on what materials it used on the 2020 X6 body. But the 2015 X6 was already mixing materials half a decade prior.

Along with other measures, use of ultra-high-tensile steels in the body structure, thermoplastics in the front fenders, aluminum in the hood and magnesium in the instrument panel support all help to reduce curb weight. Intelligent lightweight design also means that the increase in standard equipment compared with the previous model does not translate to increased vehicle weight. The curb weights for the new X6 xDrive35i and X6 xDrive50i are both reduced compared to their direct predecessors.

The 2018 X6 weighed between 4,585 and 5,080 pounds. A spec sheet for a 2015 BMW X6 M lists a curb weight of 4,630 pounds. The 2020 X6 weighs between 4,687 and 5,115 pounds.

But the additional mass probably doesn’t mean no lightweighing advances occurred.

The next-generation X6 is also an inch longer and 0.6 inches wider, though its height was reduced 0.7 inches. It also likely has a bunch of new technology that BMW would have to offset with lighter, stronger parts.

For example, the Active Driving Assistant ADAS suite comes standard now, which doesn’t appear to have been the case on the 2018 X6. That advanced driver assistance systems package includes features like frontal autobraking, blind spot and lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alerts and rear collision warning (it’s unclear if either autobrake the car). Other ADAS is available as options, as is a head-up display.

However, in powertrain substrate news, BMW did note in the news release that it used a new aluminum alloy to make the engine blockof the M50i stronger.

Other features possibly of interest to collision repairers:

Body design: “The roofline flows into a double-bubble design towards the rear, ending in subtle, twin spoilers above the rear hatch glass,” BMW wrote in a news release June The wide rear fender arches blend into the upswept rear hatch design, forming an additional, functional split rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics. Very slim L-shaped LED taillights adorn the top of the rear hatch, high above the exhaust surrounds which are integrated into the sculptured lower rear diffuser panel.

Coatings: The standard xLine trim “such as kidney grille bars, air intakes, grille sides, Air Breather edging and tail pipe surrounds are finished in Pearl-Effect Chrome,” BMW wrote. “The front under-guard protection panel is finished in body color while the rear diffuser panel is Matte Black.” The optional M Sport package “changes the exterior trim to a High-Gloss Black Shadowline finish.” Upgrading to the X6 M50i “features a BMW kidney grille, exterior mirror caps, model badge and exhaust tailpipes are painted in Cerium Grey. The calipers of the M Sport brakes (standard on the X6 M50i) are finished in blue.”

Owners can buy the X6 in “two standard, non-metallic paint colors, eight metallic paint finishes and two BMW Individual metallic paint finishes.” The optional paints — some of which come standard on the M50i — include Carbon Black Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Dark Graphite Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Flamenco Red Metallic, Arctic Grey Metallic, Manhattan Green Metallic, Riverside Blue Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic and Ametrin Metallic.

Roof: The panoramic glass roof is 83 percent larger, according to BMW. And if the owner bought the Sky Lounge option, “More than 15,000 graphic points in the glass roof are illuminated and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky. Six different colors are available for the illumination of the Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge.”

Lighting: Standard ambient lighting includes the “Welcome Light Carpet.”


Chassis/suspension/wheels: The X6 has a double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension. An Integral Active Steering option turns the rear wheels either opposite or the same way as the front wheels. An optional two-axle air suspension with automatic self-leveling “can also be factored into braking modulation.” Also, the option allows the BMW driver to pick their ride height “at the touch of a button,” with a range of 1.6 inches above and below the default height. Run-flat tires are standard.

Cameras: Owners can use their BMW ConnectedDrive App to see “a three-dimensional live image of their vehicle and surroundings on a smartphone” at any time. So behave yourself around the vehicle if this is active.

More information:

“The New 2020 BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe.”

BMW, July 3, 2019

Featured image: The 2020 BMW X6 is shown. (Provided by BMW)

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