Boarded the bomber to Atlanta, Georgia the other day to drive the BMW X6M. It’s being launched in North America because that’s where it is being built, alongside standard versions of the X6 and its mechanical identical sibling, the X5, at BMW’s ever growing Spartanburg factory in South Carolina.

Taken at face value, this is a terrifically exciting car . . . er, sorry, crossover. What with 547bhp from a twin turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 and a trick four-wheel drive system that includes an advanced planetary drive torque vectoring system, it’s every bit as rapid as the existing M5 (BMW quotes 0-62mph in 4.7sec) in a straight line.

Read the BMW X6 M first drive here

See the BMW X6 M picture gallery

As a round of hot laps on the Road Atlanta circuit also proved, the X6M also proved hugely competent in the handling department – more responsive and a good deal more forgiving than either the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and Porsche Cayenne Turbo when you get stuck in. Given that it has 2265kg to control, the way the high riding five door liftback can be flung about is quite incredible. Its brakes are also very impressive.