Wow, that came out of the blue! I expected another expansion for Beyond Earth, not Civ VI.
I really like that idea of how technology is tied to geography. I've played Civ V to death, and I agree with Ed Beach that each game starts to look very similar, especially technology. People have gone as far as to make an AI "fix" that has the AI beeline to National College. Adapting to your situation, playing the hand you are dealt, sounds more interesting than trying to replicate the same overarching strategy in each game.
The unpacking the cities sounds interesting. Hopefully they learned something from cities and regions in Endless Legend.
There is one thing that I hope they address, which I feel makes Civ:BE (and to a lesser degree Civ V) less interesting: scads of modifiers. Social policies and religion in Civ V and the virtues in Civ:BE pretty much boil down to picking from a menu of modifiers.
I found one of the great religions of the world! ... I guess I'll get the production boost and a trickle of gold.
I've accumulated enough culture (whatever that means). I guess I'll get another small tech boost.
It's hard for me to articulate exactly what bores me about this, since Civ is, more or less, a bunch of civilizations playing with the same rules but with different bonuses. The closest I can come up with is that while the choices have an effect, they don't really contribute to the narrative of the game or the personality of the civ.
Consider social engineering from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. If you picked Democracy as your politics type, not only did this come with some bonues and penalties, you're also pissing off the Police State and Fundamentalist societies out there while making friends with the other Democracies. It is just one decision, but it is something that will shape your strategy and create rivalries that may boil into war. And different factions have synergies or increased penalties for making certain picks.
In contrast, in Civ:BE, there is very little that is unique to each sponsor. Even from setup, they have access to the same customization options that further blurs any differences between them. Then they all pick from the same set of virtues so that any sponsor that goes full Knowledge looks very similar to any other Knowledge heavy sponsor. While all of these little bonuses do add up to a strategy, individually they don't seem to matter a whole lot, and the sponsors are still very much lacking in personality, which is why I still can't name them.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'd rather play a game about making choices that shape the story of a civilization rather than making tweaks to a spreadsheet.