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Mike Stevens | Apr 4, 2009

Photos of BMW's latest 4x4 creation, the 2010 BMW X6 M, have been leaked ahead of its launch at this month's New York Auto Show.

Official specifications are expected to be revealed in the next 24 hours, but it is rumoured that the ungainly-looking machine will boast a hefty 4.4 litre turbocharged V8 engine, producing an estimated 550bhp.

Check it out in the video and gallery after the jump.

Initial noise emanating from Germany indicated the car would be powered by a 5.0 litre V10 engine, but those reports now seem to be well off the mark.

The car's release is part of BMW's two-pronged assault on the performance sport's utility market, with the X6 M, and its more mature brother, the X5 M, set to tackle Porsche's Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes' ML63 AMG.

2010 BMW X6 M leak

While the basic X6's shape has earned its fair share of scorn (and even ridicule) from critics around the globe, BMW appears set to make only minor changes to the car's sheet metal.

Footage released by the Munich-based manufacturer show the car to be sporting new side-vents, larger front air intakes, a lower ride height and trademark M quad exhausts. Down below, natch, will be all-wheel-drive but likely to be heavily biased to the rear.

2010 BMW X6 M leak

Since the images surfaced, there has been some scepticism expressed about the merits of an M-branded SUV; some feel the motorsport badge should be reserved for the marque's most revered vehicles.

But BMW has not been deterred, and we can look forward to this car 'gracing' our roads sometime in the New Year.

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