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BMW X6 Invents a New Niche

BMW’s new X6 pre-production concept car pushes the design innovation pedal to the metal. The X6 is making its press debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and will hit showrooms in 2008. It’s the silhouette that causes a double-take. Huge wheels and a SUV-like body capped with a sportscar roofline. BMW’s goal with the X6 was to marry the brawn and offroad qualities of an SUV with the sportiness and sleek lines of a coupe. They call it a Sports Activity Coupe.

A Porsche’s Cayenne may drive like a hot rod, but it doesn’t pretend to be a coupe: The Cayenne really looks like an SUV. The X6 looks like nothing on the road today. “It says I’ve got the muscles to take on any road, any time. But at the same time, it’s dressed up,” says BMW Group Design Chief Chris Bangle. “It’s like a powerful athlete wearing fine clothes — you can still see the muscles rippling under his shirt.”

Now the question is, will buyers prefer an SUV in athletic gear or one dressed to kill.

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