The last time we saw a new X6 test vehicle, it was wrapped nose-to-tail in BMW's black spiderweb camouflage wrap. This time around, only the front is given such treatment, suggesting a debut could be coming soon.
What do we see for this mid-cycle refresh? A close analysis suggests the grille might actually shrink just a bit, or it could be the new front fascia throwing us off. The lower opening looks much narrower compared to the current model, with large corner vents possibly incorporating round driving lamps. It also appears BMW will toss some angled sections into the fascia not unlike the BMW M4, creating what will likely be a rather busy face. Up high, it's very easy to see smaller headlights tucked in just below the hood.
Gallery: BMW X6 M Facelift New Spy Photos
That's the only bit of camouflage on this red test vehicle, save for tape covering up BMW badges. We can easily identify this as the hot M model from the uncovered rear fascia, which is exactly the same as the current model. There's also no mistaking the big quad exhaust tips. It's possible BMW could still have some changes in store at the rear; it wouldn't be hard to install a set of similarly-sized taillights with a slightly different design. But if there are any changes on the sides or rear, they will be extremely minor.
Similarly, we aren't expecting huge changes for the interior. A larger infotainment screen could be in order, possibly adopting the single curved display we're seeing in other BMW models. We do expect to see BMW's latest iDrive 8 tech installed, and that could come with trim updates for the greenhouse. As for power, we expect more of the same there as well, and that's not a bad thing. The X6 M is already among the fastest crossovers in the world thanks to its twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8. The engine develops 600 bhp (447 kilowatts) in standard format, or 617 bhp (460 kW) in Competition guise.
BMW's progression with X6 prototypes has been a bit strange. Standard models have generally worn full camouflage coverings, but the X6 M was previously spotted with a similar wrap on just the front. We think it means a debut isn't far off, but that could mean a month or two, or not until the end of the year. The specific timing will determine whether the next X6 is a 2023 or 2024 model.