Driven: 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

November 7, 2009

BMW's X6 "Sports Activity Coupe" is a car of contradictions. Our review of the 2009 BMW X6 range called it "an oddity: a sport-utility vehicle designed to have a coupe-like shape."

For 2010, BMW has added a new model that may polarize people even further. It's the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6, the first production hybrid from the maker of ultimate driving machines.

It's both the world's most powerful hybrid and the model in the X6 range that gets the best mileage. It has 485 horsepower and 575 foot-pounds of torque, which it gets by combining a 407-hp, 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with a pair of electric motors. Oh, and it costs ninety grand.

The ActiveHybrid X6 uses the same Two-Mode Hybrid architecture found in the full-size 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid pickup trucks, as well as various full-size sport utilities including the ultra-luxe Cadillac Escalade Platinum Hybrid.

But BMW has completely rethought the concept of "hybrid," using the software that manages all the electric components to mimic the driving behavior of a seven-speed automatic transmission.

TheCarConnection drove the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 yesterday at the international press launch, and aside from a few badges and the instrumentation, you'd never know it was a hybrid.

Except, of course, for the gas mileage: EPA ratings for the 2010 ActiveHybrid X6 are 17 mpg city / 19 mpg highway, against the standard X6 xDrive 50i that uses the same twin-turbo V8, which delivers only 13 mpg city / 18 mpg highway.

The ActiveHybrid even has a better combined rating than the straight-six X6 xDrive 35i. And over a 100-mile-plus test drive, we saw average mileage of 20.4 mpg. Not bad for a large all-wheel-drive sport utility that weighs almost 3 tons.

Our sister site has full driving impressions of the new 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6.

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

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