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2015 BMW X6 gets new tech options, retains ‘coupe’ styling

With the unveiling of the redesigned 2014 BMW X5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show last fall, it was only a matter of time before the X5’s “Sports Activity Coupe” sibling got a similar makeover.

The 2015 BMW X6 gets many of the same features as the redesigned X5, as the German carmaker takes an evolutionary approach to this chimeric SUV.

At first glance, it’s hard to tell a 2015 X6 apart from its predecessor. it gets the same front fascia as the X5, which manages to be significantly different from the previous version, yet look exactly the same.

Other changes include the addition of the front-intake Air Curtains and front-fender Air Breathers already seen on other BMW models. They improve the X6’s aerodynamic efficiency while adding a little visual flair.

However, the standout feature is still that roof, which looks like it’s endured an impact with a falling piano.

Base X6 models are once again powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, which produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission option, but for 2015 BMW will add a rear-wheel drive sDrive35i model to the lineup, alongside the existing all-wheel drive xDrive35i.

Despite the unchanged power output, BMW says both six-cylinder X6 models will do 0 to 60 mph in six seconds flat, 0.3 second faster than before.

Buyers can also choose the X6 xDrive50i and its 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8. Only available with all-wheel drive, the V8 is good for 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, compared to the 2014 model’s 400 hp and 450 lb-ft. BMW quotes a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, 0.4 seconds faster than last year.

For 2015, drivers don’t have to rely solely on their right feet to control that performance. On the one hand, BMW’s Eco Pro driving mode encourages efficient driving, while a Dynamic Performance Control system finely controls the distribution of power, for better handling.

That’s not all. An available Active Driving Assistant bundles safety features like lane-departure warning and automated braking, and the active cruise control includes a “Stop & Go” feature for slowing moving traffic.

Throw in the Parking Assistant feature, and the X6 can become a real backseat driver.

Like other BMW models, the 2015 X6 will be available in trim “lines” (xLine and M Sport, in this case) that combine option packages with model-specific design features.

The 2015 BMW X6 will arrive in U.S. showrooms in late 2014. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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