BMW X6 M Competition Vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe

Battle of "real supercars" with a combined power output of 1,305 hp.

The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe and the BMW X6 M Competition are the coolest versions of Porsche’s and BMW’s popular super crossovers to date. Their antagonism is the best example of how differently the two manufacturers see the idea of such a car. But first of all, let's understand the concepts.

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What is commonly called a supercar is in fact a super sports car. And the real supercars are in front of us now. After all, in the literal interpretation, a supercar is a car, the dynamics of which is not just elevated to an ultimatum degree. The dynamics is always available to everyone in winter and summer, day and night, to a student and a racer, on the track and in the field. This is acute sensations that can be shared with more than one passenger even thousands of kilometers away from home. This is also a crazy potential that manifests itself at an opportunity and an incredible ability to dominate in average road conditions.

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Porsche immediately impresses with numbers: the Cayenne Turbo S is 55 hp more powerful and more expensive than the X6 M Competition but accelerates in the same 3.8 seconds and also falls a little short of the coveted 300 km/h. It is clear that this is a direct consequence of hybridity, but what is its point in such a car? Even more questions give rise to a comparison of the Turbo S with the standard Turbo, which has no batteries, electric motor and green bezels. It turns out that the engineers stuffed an extra 3 hundredweight of technology into the top-end version (2.5 tons against 2.2 tons). But the dynamics remained the same (the improvements are ephemeral — +0.1 seconds and +9 km/h), and the handling is good if at least not affected.

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The design of the third-generation Cayenne does not differ too much from that of the second-generation, so it is inertia free of aggression. The worst Turbo S looks too well for its dynamic capabilities — even with a sports package and 22-inch wheels (21-inch wheels in the photo).

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The nostalgic stylistics of these “no pay” Aero Design wheels refers to the legendary Porsche Fuchs originated in the mid-sixties. These were the first forged wheels on a production car (the 911). Later, Otto Fuchs AG produced wheels for many German brands — for example, “crab discs” for Mercedes-Benz and “webs” for BMW. The company produces forging for premium brands to this day.

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The 21-inch wheel rim has a giant carbon ceramic brake rotor inside — it itself has a diameter of a whole 17-inch wheel of an ordinary car (440 mm)! To properly press the pads to it, you need a monoblock caliper with 10 pistons.

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Darkened matrix headlights give out an incredibly bright and smart light beam, but the range of the BMW C laser is even cooler — it seems that those headlights finish off the neighboring region.

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There is no doubt that the retractable spoiler successfully performs its functions in all positions. But its aesthetic raises questions: the detail looks alien on the body and the plastic blackness under it looks as it is not in a working position of the wing but in a service one.

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Maybe, it is fairer to compare the ordinary X6 M with just the Turbo? Correct, but this is a different story — the maximum that both brands have is important to us. And first of all it is all about the dynamics. To get it from the BMW, it is necessary to look around the interior full of buttons and your finger will intuitively try to pull to the key on the central tunnel. There are 3 driving modes: road, sport, and track. The latter requires “press and hold” — and this action is fraught with great responsibility on the 625-hp car. So, first try an intermediate “sport”. You will struggle with the placebo effect for a couple of minutes and confess to yourself that nothing has changed in your behavior on the road.

Later, it will turn out that this key has nothing to do with the mood of the car — it only gradually weakens or completely deactivates the alarm of the driver's assistants. And it also turns off the central tablet and redraws the device in the stingy manner of a racing display in the track mode, so that extra information does not distract the driver. At the same time, there is another button for managing these same assistants, which is already common to all BMWs — a green circle to the right of the hazards. Confused? And this is just the beginning of BMW's M-quest.

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Externally, the X6 M looks more like a jacked-up supercar than a crossover with an M5 engine. In addition to the body, there is another important difference from an upgraded sedan — this is a transmission because you cannot turn off the front axle for drift.

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The brakes are smaller in diameter than these of the Cayenne (395 mm), and the standard Turbo S ceramic calipers cannot be bought even for a surcharge.

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This is a rear wheel, so it is an inch bigger than front ones. Such an option is also available for the regular, non-Competition X6 M but for an additional fee. The BMW is shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, and the Porsche — in Pirelli P Zero.

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This is one of those BMW models where half-kilometer laser headlights are really necessary.

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A carbon fiber spoiler is a little more expensive. Note how its shape rhymes with the upper aerodynamic element of the trunk door.

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It is difficult to deal with the customization of the driving modes on the go: while you decide which setting of the box and brakes suits you best, the time of year will change. To control the compliance of all fine settings with external conditions, you need to be at least a racing engineer.

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The cherished door that opens access to all settings is signed more modestly than the previous one — just Setup. But the installation of an engine and chassis (3 degrees each), steering and brakes (2 stages) and a central differential — with or without a strong emphasis on rear traction — lies behind it. But this is not all — a separate button can be used in different ways to weaken or even turn off the stabilization system. A rocker on the transmission selector should select its rate of fire separately in the manual and automatic algorithm — 3 gradations here and there. All this can and should be tried on the go to evaluate changes in real time and to notice suitable combinations.

The display of countless modes looks complicated. The design of the device does not change much, and there is no single area on the screen where the state of readiness of the car for certain tasks is always displayed.

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The test week was barely enough to try everything. And when the optimal combinations were found, I turned to the two red tabs on the steering wheel — M1 and M2. These are customizable presets that you cannot do without in the absence of factory presets (there are no typical modes like “eco”, “comfort” or “sport”, as in simple BMWs). With the first one, we save the combination for everyday driving, and with the second — the combination of “distribution” parameters ". And if the X6 M had an adaptive button, as in passenger models, you would not have to occupy one of the M-keys with bad settings and you could configure two different programs for drive.

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The suspension of the Cayenne Turbo S is pneumatic, with height adjustment. Taking into account all special modes, we get 4 levels. The desired height can be taken into account in a personal combination of individual driving settings. Unlike the BMW, the Porsche also has off-road modes: gravel, mud, sand, and rocks.

The Porsche does not have any such geeky perversions: the choice is quite familiar: Hybrid, Sport, Sport Plus and E-Power, which are switched by a single button on the steering wheel — so you will not be confused. But there were also complications here — they are mainly related to the hybrid system. The car in Hybrid Auto decides how much energy to take from the tank and how much from the battery; and you can also choose the mode of maintaining the charge level or actively replenishing the battery. Everything is like in other plug-in hybrids but with the only difference — we are talking about a crossover that accelerates to 100 km/h in 4 seconds and reaches almost 300 km/h.

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The individual settings are only available from the infotainment system menu, but it does not include as many parameters as in the BMW. The Cayenne Turbo S has a great Hybrid Auto mode, which is suitable for everyone who does not want to puzzle over the settings. There is no such magic button in the X6 M.

But if the dynamics is the only superpower of the BMW, then the Porsche is also separately trained to drive off-road thanks to the pneumatic and other special modes. And it can successfully portray the Taycan for 30 kilometers. To do this (and not only), the most powerful Cayenne now carries batteries with a capacity of 14 kWh underbody. If you drive from the outlet at home to the outlet in the office on weekdays and you enjoy burning high-octane on weekends, then this will be the most fuel-efficient V8 supercar in the world.

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An LED energy meter runs in the lower part of the tachometer dial — this is an indication of the processes and intensity of charging and discharging of the battery in real time. When the scale fills in from the center to the right — it means charging from the internal combustion engine or recovery during braking; to the left — energy accumulation during acceleration.

But driving a crossover around the city without smoke and noise is not the only thing that needs a 136-hp electric motor sandwiched between a petrol engine and an 8-speed automatic gearbox. When driving actively, it performs the function of an anti-lag in racing equipment: it instantly reduces torque until the biturbo system is “pumped” with air. Therefore, there is simply no inconvenient moment for acceleration for the Turbo S — the jerk is always so powerful that the crossover, carried away by immediate traction, turns up its nose like a racing skimmer.

But at the same time, the emotions from the brutal acceleration get to the driver in some filtered form, as if this is not happening to you and not for real but in VR glasses. The trees flashed too fast, and my head felt a little heavy. The voice of the exhaust, reminiscent of Rammstein’s music, is somewhere under the thick bottom, and the asphalt is far below. This detachment should be blamed (or vice versa — should be thanked for) armor-piercing suspension and a powerful noise.

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The Porsche rationally has the Sport Response function. Pressing the key activates “berserk mode”, when all systems are motivated to the maximum possible return for a period of 20 seconds. Concomitant effect: when the throttle is abruptly closed, the shots in the exhaust tract are louder than just when driving with the flap open.

The Turbo S never runs out of power — battery management in the hybrid system works so cleverly that there is always something there. And when the driver activates sports algorithms, the Cayenne recharges it at any convenient moment, forgetting about fuel efficiency. In general, priority in any mode, except for pure electric traction, is given to ensuring that the Turbo S does not suddenly turn into a regular Turbo with three hundredweight of ballast. The driver is still not allowed to deactivate the electrical component. Although sometimes you want the engine to stop restarting endlessly and buzzing at high idle and to be a regular V8 of an ordinary powerful car.

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The BMW is designed to give very strong M-otions. Given the specifications of the Bavarian super crossover, the model is doing this little better than the competitor.

Acceleration at the wheel of the X6 M Competition feels very similar to what you experience in the Cayenne Turbo S — the only difference is the reaction time, in the language of drag racing. The Bavarian crossover with the correct settings is undermined as instantly and violently as the hybrid rival. When driving calmly, the BMW does not have enough sound in comparison with the Porsche — if you move a third of the pedal, the mufflers of the Turbo S sound more bass, brighter. The exhaust system of the X6 M starts yell properly only under full throttle. Being well warmed up, many buyers will want to install an Akrapovic on such an outrageous car.

But the petals of the X6 M work very well — they do not activate the manual switching mode for a while but only allow you to prompt the box with the desired gear once — for example, to jump out of a turn in a hooligan drift. But even with all the plethora of settings, the BMW still lacks something. In particular, I wanted a more sensitive gas pedal but without the accompanying sports mode effect of the engine hanging at high speeds, when the accelerator is already slightly released. But the Drivelogic shift control is powerless here: it controls only the points and rate of switching but not the shift hold.

It is not even the “4-second” acceleration itself that is impressive in the both cars but the fact that it is produced by 2.5-ton all-terrain vehicles. There is simply no place to go faster because there is no need. Even super-sports cars rested in their specifications against the ceiling of common sense, and such crossovers — even more so.

And let the BMW is stuffed with safety systems but one auxiliary system is not enough. The lane-keeping assistant that once arbitrarily directed me to a temporary concrete block on a road repair site should be replaced with a… track-keeping assistant (if there were one). The typical BMW problem here has turned into a disaster — the car is so nervous on the sagging highways that you can hardly steer with one hand. So, if you meet a swinging X6 M, it does not mean that its driver “makes a fuss” for Instagram stories -maybe he just cannot handle his sports car well enough. And there is no stability of the iron even on a smooth-looking road, with which the Porsche drives almost in any conditions.

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But it is easier for the BMW to find mutual understanding when turning: the Cayenne has an unexpectedly sharp steering wheel (2.1 turns versus 2.5 turns), so it requires more careful handling, especially in small corners at high speeds. But if accuracy is more a matter of habit, then the stability and tenacity of the chassis are both phenomenal. The crossovers allow you to carry more speed through the turn than you can imagine based on the sensations and experience. When the driver is no longer comfortable, the chassis still has a good margin of stability. These are the fruits of the invisible activity of thruster electronics, all-wheel drive systems with complex traction redistribution. The Porsche also has a rotating rear axle. It is the ability to take turns very quickly and safely that best highlights the scale of the engineering miracle.

Only the drag chute is cooler than the brakes of the Cayenne Turbo S. After all, these are record-sized carbon-ceramic brakes, and their efficiency is appropriate. If you do not count the typical for rotors of this composition weak first grip on the cold – you can bump into something if you're not used to it. The pedal is solid and short-speed, like in real sports cars.

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With BMW brakes, there is less confidence, especially since they were probably already overheated on the test car. After the second hard braking in a row, the pedal has already lost its hardness. The electronic brake drive allowed engineers to implement a configurable pedal stiffness but the difference is difficult to feel.

Surprisingly, the huge curb weight of the Porsche is not felt at all on the real road — the Turbo S changes the vector of movement no less vividly than the slightly lighter X6 M Competition does. It is difficult to say anything about the balance of the chassis beyond the grip of the tires — it is reckless to try to slide on such heavy cars with 315-mm rear tires on the asphalt outside the circuit. But if desired, both are able to rip off the back and wriggle the stern on dry, so it will not certainly be boring during winter.

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During the test, the computer of the BMW recorded a fuel economy rate of 20.5 L / 100 km, and the dashboard of the Porsche — 19 L / 100 km.

The average consumption of the Turbo S will be noticeably less than that of the X6 M, only if you regularly charge it from the outlet.

In terms of comfort, the Porsche drives in a complex nobler way — in addition to the fact that the Turbo S does not fidget in the rut, it is also much more energy-intensive to perceive any road terrain at all. And the interior is stunningly isolated from noise — it steals some of the feeling of a fast ride, but most of the time you use the Turbo S, you will not worry about it at all. The X6 M is not exactly noisy, but it does not have that expensive sense of serenity. Similarly, with damping: the BMW with a spring sports suspension is not quite a tooth-crushing machine for its format, but the Cayenne’s pneumatic suspension sets a completely different level of smoothness.

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Unlike many modern BMWs, the interior of the X6 M is assembled solidly — not a single crunch. I was surprised only by the unhealthy clicks of the driver's window lifter.

Here you want to lower the steering wheel closer to your knees than the adjustment range allows. The dimensions of the body from the driver's seat feel worse than that of the Porsche.

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The carbon interior trim instead of aluminum one and Alcantara ceiling is a sign of the Competition version. Most of the keys with settings are centered around the lever and on it.

Except that the tabs of customizable modes are placed on the steering wheel. What they will be used for is up to you.

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With a height below 170 cm, getting behind the wheel of the X6 M is not an easy task. Wide exterior door sills and high rigid seat cushion cushions make you literally jump at the entrance. At the same time, only the side support of the backrest is regulated, so these “ears” of the pillow can put pressure on some drivers' hips. But in general, the seats are very comfortable, especially good branded backs with adjustable shoulders.

There are sensors on the ends of the seat adjustment keys. When you touch them, animated prompts appear on the central display, showing what is being adjusted and how.

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The backseat of the BMW X6 M is slightly different from that of the X5 M — the back is more pronounced, so it is conditionally a little more two-seat and has to ensure that passengers hang out less in turns. In any case, the third passenger will not feel very comfortable because of the wide central tunnel. But there is no seat that supports you better in the corners than your companion's shoulder.

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The trunk capacity is 580 liters. A minimal set of tools for fixing small things with such a car's appetite for corners is a necessity.

I suffer in a certain way at the wheel of the BMW X6 M Competition. But it is this wildness in it that catches. As for the Porsche, it is easier to lead a daily life, but it is the everyday life that kills some of the enthusiasm. At the same time, the Cayenne Turbo S gives a feeling of extreme confidence, steadfastness and omnipotence. It is your sidekick and ally in the most difficult tasks that a super-fast car can face: in terms of combined abilities, it dominates not only the X6 M Competition but anything at all. What other supercar can drive on serious off-road terrain? And move around completely silently? And provide sufficient comfort for circumnavigation at least? And do it all at the same time?

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Unlike the X6 M, there is human visibility and no sense of a bunker, although the interior itself is narrower than that of the competitor. The arrangement of systems and controls is simpler and more intuitive, even though the mechanical keys in the BMW are more pleasant to press than to adapt to the Porsche sensors.

There is a clear reference to the 911 in the laconic interior.

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The mode selection shifter is always at hand and has a clear indication. The button in the center activates Sport Response. It could not be simpler — BMW has a lot to learn here.

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The wrist of the hand aiming at the touchscreen fits comfortably at the top of the selector — in the absence of an infotainment control washer (like that of the BMW), this is a valuable ergonomic solution. Wireless phone charging is not available even among the options. The Turbo S will not allow you to take extra drops of energy from the battery.

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The Sport Chrono mechanical stopwatch is the second analog device in this sensory realm after the tachometer. Dials can be painted in white, beige or red for a surcharge.

Pretentious embossing on the armrest cover is not free.

The glass roof is a fixed “panorama” without sliding sections. But BMW does not provide such a feature either.

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The seats are so soft that you cannot feel the keys left in your back pocket. But at the same time, they hold your body well when driving fast, since the support is regulated separately both in the pillow and in the back.

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The backseat is more welcoming for the third passenger than that of the X6 M — at least due to the better legroom. But the height of the interior from the pillow to the roof of the two cars is the same both in the back and in the front.

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The Porsche has a smaller trunk (500 liters), but the step is not so high; there is only one pocket; a heavy bag with charging wires is fastened to the floor with a powerful carbine and does not bother the driver with its movements around the compartment.

The X6 M is more narrowly focused, and therefore it is focused only on its violent nature. The driver should play by its rules, look for an approach, and always stay in good shape. This is the apogee of the M-hardcore: shocking, not quite comfortable, fun and very fast. The both cars are the result of overengineering. But in addition to the excessive dynamics, the BMW X6 M shows this only in the flexibility of parameter settings. And the Cayenne only needs to be transformed into a flying amphibian to fulfill the desire of the designers to embrace the vast. But that is not true that the target audience needs something more from the Turbo S than just 680 hp against 550 hp of the regular Turbo.

BMW X6 M Competition

Advantages
Hardcore, charisma, dynamics
Disadvantages
Overly complicated settings, low engine sound, compromise utility
Verdict
Is it really a crossover?
4,395 cc, petrol V8, 625 hp, 750 Nm
8-speed automatic gearbox
3.8 s; 250 km/h
2,370 kg

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe

Advantages
Diversity, versatility, dynamics
Disadvantages
Modest design, glossy interior and sensors
Verdict
The more expensive, the cooler
3 996 cc, hybrid V8, 680 hp, 900 Nm
8-speed automatic gearbox
3.8 s; 295 km/h
2,535 kg

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