The new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé

17 December 2011

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé has the proportions of a classic grand tourer coupé, characterised by a long bonnet, a sweeping roofline and a passenger compartment set towards the rear of the car,  with the spaciousness and ease of access of an executive saloon. The Gran Coupé is the most spacious and practical 6 Series ever. This has been made possible by stretching the wheelbase and overall length of the 6 Series Coupé on which it is based by 113mm. The 6 Series Gran Coupé is 5,007mm long, with a wheelbase of 2,968mm.
Familiar BMW design features include a ‘shark nose’ with a large forward leaning double-kidney grille broad air intakes and dual round Xenon or LED headlamps. The Xenon headlights use BMW’s familiar double corona units, while the optional Adaptive LED Headlight units pivot in line with the car’s speed, steering angle and lateral body movement during cornering. Powerful, flared wheel arches and a three-part lower air intake emphasise the wide stance of the car.

A long, flat bonnet leads upwards through the front windscreen pillars into a sweeping coupé roofline. The increase in wheelbase has allowed BMW’s designers to maintain the flowing elegance of a coupé roofline while maintaining the headroom of rear passengers. Frameless aluminium doors house long side windows that emphasise the space within.
At the rear, bulging wheel arches and horizontal lines accentuate the wide track and serve as pointers to the Gran Coupé’s dynamic driving style. The two-part rear LED light clusters, in the now familiar BMW L-shape, create a striking look at night with the high-level brake light extending the full width of the upper part of the rear screen.

The front of the cabin is unmistakably BMW thanks to its driver-oriented layout. The automatic gear selector, electronic handbrake and iDrive controller are mounted in the centre console which runs through to the rear of the cabin, but leaves sufficient space for a passenger to travel between the two sports seats. The 6 Series Gran Coupé is fitted with lightweight seats with integral belts, developed for the 6 Series Coupé and Convertible.
The rear seat backs can be folded to expand a 460-litre luggage area to 1,265 litres. Even with four seats in use the luggage compartment will accommodate two golf bags, while an optional through-loading hatch allows for two pairs of skis to be transported.

A new 450hp 4.4-litre direct-injection V8 in the BMW 650i Gran Coupé is the pinnacle of the three-strong engine line-up, which includes 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engines for the 320hp 640i and the 313hp 640d. All are TwinPower Turbo units and are paired with BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW’s EfficientDynamics fuel-saving, CO2-reducing technologies are standard.
The 4.4-litre V8 engine in the BMW 650i Gran Coupé develops its maximum power from 5,500 to 6,000rpm, with peak torque of 650Nm remaining constant from 2,000 to 4,500rpm. As with the V8 in the 6 Series Coupé and Convertible, the turbochargers are uniquely positioned in the V between the cylinder banks, but the new engine has the addition of VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, which improves driveability, performance and efficiency. Acceleration from 0-62mph is accomplished in a mere 4.6 seconds, yet the car is capable of a combined fuel consumption of 32.1mpg and CO2 emissions of just 206g/km.

The 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine in the BMW 640i Gran Coupé also features direct injection with VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control, and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft control, and has a single twin-scroll turbocharger. It develops peak power of 320hp at 5,800rpm, its maximum torque of 450Nm begins at 1,300rpm and is maintained until 4,500rpm, helping the BMW 640i Gran Coupé to accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds. The effortless performance is complemented by combined fuel economy of 36.2mpg, with CO2 emissions of only 181g/km.

For drivers wanting a long-distance tourer BMW offers the world’s most sporty diesel engine – an all-aluminium 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder unit – in the 640d Gran Coupé. With combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg and a 70-litre fuel tank, it has a potential range of almost 800 miles, and its CO2 emissions have been pared down to 148g/km, which brings the double benefits of a 22 percent BIK for company car drivers and Vehicle Excise Duty of just £130 a year. Yet with 313hp at 4,400rpm and 630Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,500rpm, it matches the 640i for acceleration from 0-62mph. All three versions of the 6 Series Gran Coupé have a limited top speed of 155mph.

Like any BMW, the 6 Series Gran Coupé benefits from EfficientDynamics technologies, which includes Auto Start-Stop to ensure zero emissions when the car is stationary in traffic. This is accompanied by Brake Energy Regeneration when slowing down or stopping, on-demand management of ancillary components, electro-mechanical power steering, a detachable air conditioning compressor and active aerodynamics to reduce drag. In addition, all models come with ECO PRO mode within Drive Performance Control. This promotes a more relaxed driving style by adjusting the engine management system, reducing accelerator sensitivity and changing the gearshift characteristics. At the same time, electronically operated functions such as the climate control system are put into maximum efficiency mode.

The 6 Series Gran Coupé benefits from a lightweight chassis featuring extensive use of aluminium. It is based on double wishbones at the front and a fully independent multi-link axle at the rear, while Variable Damper Control is optionally available. This electronically governed damping system automatically adjusts to road surface conditions and the way the car is being driven, so that the 6 Series Gran Coupé can deliver typical BMW driving precision and enjoyment with the ride comfort and refinement expected of a car designed for long-distance touring.

Drive Performance Control allows drivers to vary the responsiveness of the gearbox, steering, accelerator and the level of assistance provided by the Dynamic Stabilty Control. It has four settings ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ .

Electro-mechanical power steering is standard and can be combined with the optional Integral Active Steering system. This consists of Active Steering for the front axle with a
steering rear axle. The steering angle and power assistance at both ends of the car are controlled with the help of electric motors, adding to the agility of the 6 Series Gran Coupé.

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé is offered in SE and M Sport trim grades, both providing exceptional levels of standard equipment, while an extensive range of active safety features and innovative driver assistance systems are optionally available.

Standard with the 640i and 640d SE models are 18-inch Star-spoke light-alloy wheels, while the 650i has 19-inch V-spoke light-alloy wheel. All models have Dakota leather upholstery, BMW Professional Navigation with 10.2” high-resolution display, front and rear Park Distance Control, Keyless Go, two-zone climate control, electronic two-way steering adjustment and heated front seats.
M Sport derivatives feature unique BMW M aerodynamic body styling, 19-inch M double-spoke light-alloys, black brake calipers, dark exhaust tailpipes, Sports seats, Anthracite headlining, high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim and Aluminium Hexagon interior trim.

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé is available with the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Audio System with Surround Sound, developed uniquely for the BMW 6 Series. Its exceptionally natural sound comes from 16 speakers distributed around the cabin, comprising of two bass speakers, seven mid-range speakers and seven tweeters, all with individual amplifiers. It recreates the acoustics of a reference listening room, through DIRAC Dimensions technology, so that all passengers enjoy the same outstanding sound quality.

Other options available include Surround-view, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Park Assist, Lane Change warning system, Lane Departure warning system, Speed limit display and a full colour Head-up Display.

Claudia Tallone