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First look: Full BMW 6 Series Coupe details

Six appeal: Third-generation 6 Series Coupe features an all-new chassis as well as refinement upgrades and a considerable increase in output.

BMW reveals longer, wider, lower production 6 Series Coupe, plus full details

14 Mar 2011

FIRST images and full details of the final production version of BMW’s redesigned 6 Series Coupe have been announced, well ahead of the longer, wider and lower new model’s arrival in Australian showrooms late this year or early in 2012.

The third generation of BMW’s flagship two-door – at least until the futuristic plug-in hybrid i8 super-coupe goes on sale – emerges almost entirely faithful to the 6 Series Coupe concept revealed at the Paris motor show last September.

It borrows its upgraded engines and larger new dimensions from the new 6 Series Convertible, which made its production debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November and will this time round hit the market before the hard-top version when it goes on sale here in May.

The 2+2-seater sportscar’s wheelbase and body are some 75mm longer than before, while width is up by 39mm and height reduces by 5mm, giving the latest 6 Series Coupe overall dimensions somewhere between the outgoing model and BMW’s low-slung four-door Gran Coupe concept, which debuted at last April’s Beijing show and will next year morph into the all-new 6 Series sedan.

As evidenced by the 650i Coupe shown in the first official interior and exterior images, the MkIII version differs from the concept only by featuring less elongated twin outboard exhaust outlets, meaning the new two-door’s styling is less adventurous than the current 6 Series, which attracted just one buyer last month in Australia for a total of two this year.

14 center imageLike its dimensions, the new coupe’s engine line-up echoes that of the 6 Series Convertible, with just two variants available from launch.

Until a next-generation M6 appears, the 650i will be the flagship of the range, powered by the same twin-turbocharged direct-injection 4.4-litre petrol V8 from the X5, 5 Series and 7 Series.

This engine delivers 30kW more peak power (300kW at 5500rpm, along with 600Nm of torque at 1750-4500rpm) than the naturally aspirated 270kW/490Nm 4.8-litre V8 in the current $227,300 650i Coupe.

Similarly, the new 640i Coupe comes with BMW’s even more widely applied inline turbo six, which now features a twin-scroll turbocharger rather than twin-turbo but bears the same ‘BMW TwinPower Turbo’ name as twin-turbo V8.

In this application it delivers 235kW at 5800rpm and 450Nm from just 1300rpm to 4500rpm, making the 640i 35kW more powerful than the 4.0-litre V8 in the outgoing E63-series 640i, which was not sold here.

The result is claimed 0-100km acceleration in 5.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h – the same as the 650i, which now sprints to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds, making it six-tenths quicker than the previous 650i and only three-tenths slower than the discontinued M6 V10.

Both models come standard for the first time with the same eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that sees duty in everything from the 7 Series and 5 Series to the X5 and X3, with steering wheel gearshift paddles again standard in both models.

There are also a number of BMW ‘EfficientDynamics’ measures including electric power steering, an idle-stop function, regenerative braking, on-demand engine ancillaries, low rolling-resistance tyres and, for the 640i, a new ‘Eco Pro’ mode that blunts engine mapping, throttle response and transmission performance to further reduce fuel consumption.

No weight figures have been announced and BMW stops short of claiming any fuel economy benchmarks, saying only that both EU5 emissions-standard direct-injection petrol engines deliver “instantaneous power development, majestic in-gear acceleration, outstanding refinement and exemplary efficiency for their output class”.

Official provisional EU fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are 10.4 litres per 100km and 243 grams per kilometre for the 650i, and 7.7L/100km and 179g/km for the 640i.

Apart from being, like the X3, the first car in its segment to feature electric power steering, the new 6 Series Coupe will come standard with Drive Dynamic Control and the option of Adaptive Drive, Dynamic Damper Control and Integral Active Steering.

Another segment-first is the fitment of adaptive LED headlights with cornering function for both low and high-beam, while the tail-lights and foglights also employ LED technology.

As usual, there is a range of high-tech gadgetry, including the iDrive infotainment system with free-standing control display, Surround View bird’s eye parking and rear-view cameras, latest-generation head-up display, a real-time speed limit warning system, BMW Night Vision and a full complement of parking sensors.

Naturally for a BMW, a huge range of options will also be available, including comfort and sports seats, active seats, seat ventilation, unique Nappa leather trim, ceramic interior highlights and a new model-specific Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

BMW says the wider, lower 6 Series body liberates more shoulder and elbow room in the twin rear seats, more headroom for all passengers despite the lower roof height, and a 460-litre boot that is said to swallow three all-important golf bags.

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