A BMW executive takes a large lump of money and a small lump of hallucinogens and hands both to a group of engineers with the following instruction: "Go nuts." Sometime later -- after the passing of key statutes of limitations -- the BMW X6 M appears.
The hulking and incredibly fast red aberration you see here provides a rolling look into their madness. The engine, for example. BMW has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, but these engineers figured 400 horsepower simply wouldn't do. So on went new pistons, camshafts, turbochargers, and a modified cooling system, amongst other things. The engineers finally settled on 555 horsepower, a number so convenient they might as well have called it "enough." They then programmed in a launch control system, because what good is a 5181-pound SUV if it can't accelerate like a Cadillac CTS-V?
"Wait a second," you might think. "What about the Cayenne Turbo?" Yes, both are monstrously silly, twin-turbo SUVs. But lo, the BMW is quicker. Reaching 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 110.8 mph, the X6 M dismisses that comparatively sensible Porsche by three-tenths. How? With the transmission in manual mode, all that's required from the BMW driver is that they press the inconspicuous "M" button on the steering wheel and flatfoot both pedals. And when the checkered flag appears on the dash, they sidestep the brake. As the all-wheel drive jettisons the X6 M from its place of rest, the transmission takes care of the upshifts -- the driver is merely along for the ride. (Helpfully, the owner's manual suggests that you not use launch control when towing a trailer.)
The trouble now is you're going rather fast, and the X6 M still weighs 5181 pounds. Fortunately, BMW engineers realized that with a weight-to-power ratio similar to a Challenger SRT8, the X6 M will need to stop at some point, preferably before anyone gets hurt. Well, the Corvette ZR1 has some rather big brakes and stops pretty well, they must've figured, so being bigger should be better. On went rotors measuring 15.6 inches up front and 15.2 inches out back. Tires, they also decided, might as well match the preposterous brakes. At 315/35, the X6 M's rear tires are wider than the Cayenne Turbo's (295/35), 911 Turbo's (305/30), and every production Mustang we've tested. Should you want to go full Charlie Sheen, BMW also offers 21-inch, 285/35 front and 325/30 rear tires, in black, for a paltry $6495.