Lovers of BMW will shiver with excitement at this month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit when the German car manufacturer launches an entire new model series in one fell swoop with the next-generation BMW 6 Series Coupé, Convertible and Gran Coupé all being introduced to the auto world this Friday (9 January) before moving on to become the centrepieces of the BMW stand in the Cobo Arena.
We will be seeing the new BMW 6 Series Coupé, 6 Series Convertible and 6 Series Gran Coupé and their BMW M over here in the UK when they go on sale from 1 March, 2015.
All of the new BMW 6 Series models have had some serious styling changes made to them to somehow make the BMW look more purposeful and powerful than it already does – and that’s before you even take a look inside at the new trim materials, centre console surfaces and lighting, extensive range of standard specification and the personalisation features. (For a start, the BMW ConnectedDrive navigation and infotainment package is fitted to every model.)
When you look at the petrol models you’ll find that the sports exhaust system with a switchable valve to add some oomph to the sound of the engine are all as standard, along with aerodynamic improvements and an extensive package of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies – meaning that all of the six-cylinder models – both petrol and diesel – are even more fuel-efficient than before.
Three distinctly individual takes on a common theme
The new 6 Series range will consist of the sportily stylish classic Coupé, the exclusive all-seasons Convertible and the elegant longer-wheelbase four-door Gran Coupé as it has done over the years, selling almost 80,000 versions of the outgoing range globally in three years with the Gran Coupé now claiming almost half of 6 Series sales. And once again there are a lot of similarities between all three before the model changes are made individually; similarities such as the choice of highly efficient TwinPower Turbo in-line six-cylinder and V8 engines with every little bit of the BMW EfficientDynamics technologies that are there to save fuel and reduce emissions, and the fact that all engines meet EU6 emissions standards and drive through an eight-speed fast-shifting automatic transmission.
Thanks to the latest EfficientDynamics features and aerodynamic improvements, the 3.0-litre 313hp turbodiesel engine in the 640d models and the 3.0-litre 320hp petrol engine in the 640i versions are both now more fuel-efficient with reduced CO2 emissions too (as low as 139g/km on the 640d SE Coupé.) Yet fuel efficiency does not compromise the start speed with every 6 Series able to comfortably achieve the 0-62mph sprint in 5.5 seconds – and in many cases, such as the 4.4-litre V8 bi-turbo 650i models, considerably less.
And you will be pleased to hear that all petrol versions now sound as good as they perform with a sports-tuned exhaust providing a sympathetic soundtrack to the cars’ emphatic performance – and there is a switchable valve adjusted through the Driving Experience Control system that can add a significantly sportier edge to the sound coming from the tailpipes.
All 6 Series vehicles also contain Dynamic Damper Control allied to the newly honed suspension systems; Adaptive Drive, which includes roll stabilisation; and Integral Active Steering, which introduces a touch of rear-wheel steer so that less effort is needed to turn the car while enhancing agility.
Looking good in a new 6 Series.
Right from the front of the new BMW 6 Series vehicles where BMW kidney grille now features nine bars where previously it had 10, you can see and feel the presence – and other changes such as standard full-LED headlights adding a sophisticated new night-time look to the typical BMW twin circular signature lighting, LED front foglights at the front, new horizontal chrome bumper insert at the rear just add to the on-road influence.
Aerodynamically the cars have been restyled to an improvement level far above expectation, adding to the shape of the car, with new 18-inch alloy wheels for the Coupé and Convertible, and five new metallic paint finishes – Jatoba, Cashmere Silver, Glacier Silver, Mediterranean Blue and Melbourne Red – making them the future talk-of-the-town.
And the posing isn’t just an external occupation, because inside is just as good – if not better. The standard dashboard is in leather with contrast stitching – a change from the previously option-only – and this is just a guide to what you can expect; from the modern, stylish high-gloss black finish on the centre console around the switches for the climate control system and audio system to the iDrive system’s more precise Control Display with its chromed surround; and from the new multi-functional instrument panel and the LED lights illuminating the footwells, door openings and glovebox to the standard Dakota, Nappa or Merino leather trim, the quality is simply outstanding.
And then there is the added bonus of ConnectedDrive, the intelligent link between a BMW and the outside world, now coming as standard; with the system providing full navigation and infotainment facilities, and a SIM card embedded within the car which can be tailored to the owner’s preferences and includes helpful information such as Real Time Traffic Information, BMW Teleservices and Intelligent Emergency Call. The SIM card can even reserve hotel rooms and find flight information, ATM machines and out-of-hours pharmacies.
Obviously ConnectedDrive is linked (again as standard) to the latest version of the BMW Head-Up Display, which projects information from speed limits to navigation instructions onto the windscreen within the driver’s field of vision without distracting them.
And finally, if you are looking for up-to-date technology added to an already extensive list available in the 6 Series, then you’ll find a system called Driving Assistant Plus, which uses a camera and radar to provide information to the car, activating Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Departure Warning and Pedestrian and Collision Warning with Braking.
With all cars electronically limited to 155mph, safety is an obvious consideration, but in all honesty, you will want to keep speed down so that everyone can enjoy looking at the new BMW Series 6 car that you will be driving – and you will want them to look for your own personal satisfaction!