BMW X6 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective BMW X6 (F15/F16) modifications."

The X6 is beast of a car, the curves don't actually succeed in making it look smaller than it is.

Thankfully there is plenty of power on tap which you'd need to shift that weight and thanks to the setup it feels quite quick and nimble, at least much more so that you'd expect from a car of it's size and weight.

We will now examine your X6 tuning options, and highlight the ultimate mods that work. BMW X6s are popular cars and with the right motorsport parts you can maximize your driving experience.

The X6 is a good project car to take up your weekends. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome X6 but don't be fooled there are lots of performance kits out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


Tuning modifications.

This list of the stages and mods are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get started.

Getting the right tuning upgrades for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

E71 Engines

F16 Engines

  • 3.0 L I6 turbo (petrol) 302 bhp
  • 3.0 L I6 turbo (diesel) 255-309bhp
  • 4.4  L V8 turbo (petrol) 444-457bhp

G06 was announced in 2019 for a 2020 launch

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your X6

  1. X6 Suspension Tuning - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit dramatically improves X6 handling Adjustable coilovers and better bushings are what is needed here.
  2. Lighter flywheels - a reduced weight flywheel will improve the engines free revving nature. In some cases flywheel lightening is not a great mod for all X6 engines.
  3. Fast road cams are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but we recommend they be installed by someone qualified to set them up properly and it is often hard to find a suitable cam near you but there is usually a local firm to regrind a stock cam .
  4. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  5. Intake and Performance Exhausts - NB: on their own these mods will NOT ADD PERFORMANCE for most setups, but they permit you to lift power after other upgrades by removing the restriction.
  6. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most significant way to increase your intakes air supply, ensuring you are able to combust more fuel and make better power figures. Typically one of the most technically difficult mods it does provide the largest gains.
  7. Tunes - A Remapped X6 ECU ensures the most power for the money, aftermarket ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  8. Braking Mods - Enhancing your stopping power needs to be near the top of your Mods list.

X6 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Remap (MPPK and piggyback chip/ecu), Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 28mm - 35 mm.).

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Competition cam, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing, Sports gearbox.

The MPPK (M Performance Power Kit) dealer software upgrade does make a massive difference and is usually the first mod X6 owners look into. Adding a racechip Ultimate or piggyback ECU or tune/remap on top of this pushes the engine output into some really nice power figures.

You really need to keep as much low end torque as possible and aim to get a wide power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power spike.

The point of our guides is to give a limited introduction of customizing mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best tuning modifications and all aspects of modding cars.One of the biggest mechanical tuning modifications you can do to your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road camshaft .

Thankfully BMW did a good job designing the intake and exhaust header/manifolds/headers and engine head/valve design. A sports exhaust may sound nicer but don't expect much of a power hike.

The exhaust & intake durations play a huge role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car challenging to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully realise your gains.

Don't forget to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after modified upgrades are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues. Increasing the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

If you've uprated your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

X6 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car owners first priority in your X6 tuning project.

If you set the toe out to 1 to 2 degrees on the front, and add slight negative camber then cornering will radically benefit.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 28mm - 35 mm. and fit modified stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

he suspension components of the X6 may be mounted to the car's chassis through bushings, which are rotatable rubber mounts. These rubber ones will lose their shape with time.

Replacement OEM rubber bushes may have a major impact on the performance of your vehicle.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit more harsh, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

They may also quicken the decay of other suspension parts due to the increased vibration and play.

A new set of polyeyurothane bushings may be able to reduce the excessive play that comes with rubber bushes.

Our aim in X6 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

Enjoy your X6 to the max with our great performance tuning articles - do the right mods in the right order.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

X6 Brake Upgrades

For greatly enhanced stopping you should get better performance pads and combine this with better brake discs.

Note that motorsport brake pads can grind and will need a lot of heat before they start to work.

In every day driving the brakes are only applied now and then and won't be as effective at slowing you up so specify friction pads which don't need to be really hot.

X6 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Contrary to popular belief there is generally very little power gain obtained by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for X6 engines you should settle for a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of air through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional head porting and polishing.

These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. Your clutch can lose you loads of power as you increase the power if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 40%.

Fit a power clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. The best mods we would do for your X6 are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Turbo engines are just pleading to be Remapped. You will see big power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and big modifications for your money.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Superchargers are generally easier to add than a turbo. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with rpm.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is directly proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks.

Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of directional tread pattern tire.

The downside to large rims on your X6 is that you're changing your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance.

Although some people have installed larger rims without issues we would restrict ourselves to a 19 inch rim size as the maximum.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss X6 options in more detail with our X6 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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