Flagship performance variant of new-gen SUV coupe spied for the first time.

Photographers have snapped a BMW X6 M prototype for the first time, giving us an early look at the all-new performance SUV flagship.

Despite the heavy camouflage, we can see the main areas where the M version of the next-gen X6 will differ from its lesser siblings.

Key changes visible on this test vehicle include a more aggressive body kit, massive front intakes to feed air into the (likely) twin-turbo V8 engine under the bonnet, massive wheels and brakes, along with quad exhaust outlets at the rear.

While the new X6 is yet to be revealed, it will get similar upgrades inside and out to the new-generation X5 that is set to launch in Australia in the coming months.

The two should share similar frontal designs, though the fastback rear will be the main point of differentiation between the X5 wagon and X6 'coupe'. Meanwhile, the interior layouts will be largely identical, incorporating the company's latest infotainment and driver assistance technologies.

Power is believed to come from a version of the 4.4-litre bi-turbo V8 that already serves in the M5 sedan – which develops a healthy 460kW of power and 750Nm in Competition trim. It's mooted that the X5 and X6 M could bump that figure slightly to cater for the added weight of their SUV bodies.

With the standard X6 anticipated to make its debut late this year or early next, expect the M version to lob sometime in 2019, ahead of a market launch in the months after.

Our guess is that the X6 M will arrive in Australian showrooms in the latter half of 2019. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.

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