• BMW this week unveiled their second generation X6 “Sport Activity Coupe” with all new styling and new for this year a rear-wheel drive model.

  • The X6 sDrive35i, powered by BMW’s 300 horsepower twin turbo inline six will come in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive as the xDrive35i

  • The more powerful X6 xDrive50i gets an updated 445 horsepower twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8, only coming in all-wheel drive.

  • All models are equipped with BMW’s 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission.

  • Exterior design is all new, but evolutionary in typical BMW fashion.
  • The tantalizing five passenger interior comes slathered with the latest exotic woods, leathers and BMW’s newest suite of infotainment, navigation and driver assistance technologies.
  • The new 2015 BMW X6 will be produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina and will arrive in showrooms later this year with pricing to be announced closer to launch.


  • Just a few months after the introduction of the of the new MINI Hardtop 2 door, a 4 door version has been unveiled, more traditional than the previous Clubman model.

  • This makes the MINI Hardtop 4 door 6.3 inches longer, seating five with still usable cargo area behind the rear seat.

  • It comes standard with the company’s new turbocharged 3-cylinder engine with 134 hp and a 189 hp 4-cylinder turbo in the Cooper S Hardtop 4 door.

  • Both engines will be available with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed Steptronic

  • The new MINI Hardtop 4 door goes on sale in January 2015 at just $1,000 more than the MINI Hardtop 2 door.

  • For those of you who didn’t like the barn-doors of the last generation MINI Clubman, you’ll be happy to know that the new 4 door comes with a standard hatch. Nice.


  • For our feature story, Chevrolet announced their 2015 Corvette Z06 will have 650 horsepower, making it the most powerful production car ever from General Motors.
  • The Z06’s LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 is now officially SAE-certified at 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
  • Chevrolet says notable is the fact that the torque is wide across the rev range starting at 457 lb-ft right off idle, and 625 lb-ft at only 2,800 rpm.
  • The new supercharged engine is based on the same 6.2 liter V8 found in the Stingray, but has several unique features in addition to its 1.7 liter supercharger.
  • To name a few, it gets Rotocast aluminum cylinder heads, lightweight titanium intake valves, forged connecting rods, aluminum pistons, and stainless steel exhaust manifolds.

  • It has a relatively high 10.0:1 compression ratio for a forced-induction engine enabled with use of direct fuel injection.

  • The 2015 Z06 will be standard with a seven-speed manual transmission or an all-new, paddle-shift eight-speed automatic.
  • The Z06 goes on sale late this year and will cost….a lot.


  • This week in test drives we were very busy with four separate reviews.
  • Two cars made our “I’d Buy It” list which is the high honor a vehicle gets here at TestDrivenTV when I just plain like it enough to buy one.
  • Starting with the 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E wagon, It’s combination of style, power and taut handling won me over. I liked the combination of SUV like utility and a low car-like drive which is all too uncommon in today’s market.
  • Also winning a spot on the I’d Buy It list was the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T. The compact SUV brings a consistent level of talent across the board from quality to performance. It’s a well executed competitor in its class and worth a look for anyone shopping in it.
  • We also got our first look and chance to drive the all new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan at a local Phoenix press event this week. We learned some of the car’s highlights as well as get some first opinions from behind the wheel of what likely is Chrysler’s most important new car in a decade.
  • Last but not least we took the top-of-the line 2014 Lexus LX570 SUV off-road to see how well it navigates the rough. Sharing its basic architecture with the Toyota Land Cruiser, it brings legendary off-road prowess in a true high end luxury wrapper.
  • You can watch all these reviews at TestDriven.TV or on our YouTube channel.


  • In our reality check, this week GM CEO Mary Barra announced the delivery of an independent report about what’s become known as the Cobalt Ignition Switch Scandal.

  • This stems from an faulty ignition switch which could be bumped or brushed, unwittingly changing it to the off position. This is believed to have caused a number of injuries and even deaths when a lapse in power steering and power brakes led to accidents where airbags failed to function.

  • The issue and the delayed recall action to solve it has caused widespread lawsuits and PR problems for the company. An issue that Barra addressed in a town hall meeting.

  • The company sponsored report of course found no smoking gun or conspiracy to cover up the defect, as you might expect.

  • 15 GM employees did get let go, 5 were schooled, and a compensation fund has been created to address the aggrieved families of the injured or dead.

  • I admire Barra’s stand up and take action stance here in making a show to employees and the rest of us GM is serious about the issue. Something tells me however, there will be more raking of the coals over this one. Stay tuned.