BMW's 2nd-gen X6 to arrive this year

BMW's re-engineered X6, shown, is bigger and better equipped than its predecessor.

A marginally bigger BMW X6 will arrive in U.S. showrooms this year after its public debut in August at the Moscow auto show.

The first generation of the coupelike crossover, launched in 2008, largely created the niche that has been joined by the latest Range Rover Sport and an upcoming production version of the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV.

The revamped X6 will continue to be assembled at BMW's plant in Spartanburg, S.C.

The re-engineered X6 comes with increased standard equipment levels, including bi-xenon headlamps, 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic tailgate operation and an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles.

The styling changes are evolutionary. New touches include a bolder front end with a more prominent kidney grille and angular headlights that continue into the chrome surround of the grille to emphasize the width.

A heavily contoured front bumper, which features so-called air-curtain ducts on the lower outer edges, channels air through the front wheel houses to an air blade duct placed behind the front wheel arches to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

The body gets a more structured look than its predecessor, with added contouring on the hood, a more pronounced shoulder line and an added feature line over the rear wheel arches.

The new X6 has grown slightly from its predecessor, but not as much as earlier disguised prototypes suggested.

At 193.3 inches long, it is 1.3 inches longer than the first-generation X6.

You can reach Greg Kable at

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