Car of the Year 2010: No. 12 BMW X6 M

Photo by Cordero Studios

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Misunderstood M 

That the BMW X6 M occupies the bottom rung of this year’s baker’s dozen mystifies me, as I have logged many hundreds of miles behind the wheel of this capable, albeit curious-looking, sport-activity coupe. The X6’s substantive dimensions and tiptoe stance belie its driver-oriented handling, braking, and exceptional power. While the design may not wear well in the classic sense, it does turn the heads and raise the thumbs of that elite coterie of M lovers who discern that this X6 is anything but ordinary. Drive it like a sports car, but whatever you do, don’t call it an SUV. —Robert Ross


Bimmer Glimmer

Last year, the BMW M3 surprised nearly everyone by finishing in third place in Robb Report’s 2009 Car of the Year competition. This year, however, the BMW X6 M confused many of the judges, some of whom did not know what to make of a 5,000-plus-pound, toad-shaped, all-wheel-drive vehicle that reaches 60 mph in the same time as the German automaker’s laudable M3. No matter what you think of it, one fact is undeniable: With 555 hp and 500 ft lbs of torque, the X6 M is fast—and sure to satisfy the BMW Motorsport faithful. —Paul Meyers

[ SPECIFICATIONS ] Configuration Front-engine, all-wheel-drive sedan/SUV Engine 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 Transmission 6-speed automatic Power 555 hp at 6,000 rpm Torque 500 ft lbs at 1,500 rpm Curb Weight 5,324 pounds Zero to 60 4.5 seconds Top Speed 155 mph (electronically limited) Base Price $88,900 BMW, www.bmwusa.com

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