A special, limited-edition 6 Series for 2014 is the Frozen Brilliant White Edition convertible. Sounding somewhat like a new offering at Dairy Queen, this is a metallic matte white convertible with black mirrors and grille, black Nappa leather upholstery, and a black convertible top. Its twenty-inch M Sport wheels are black and gray, and its interior wood trim is gray. The M Sport package and executive package are also included. This special edition is available as a 650i or (perhaps more appropriate given the arctic theme) a 650i xDrive. The latter gets the cold weather package in addition to all-wheel drive. In other news, the promised manual transmission and carbon-ceramic brakes finally appear on the M6 options list. Plus, the iDrive system has received yet another update...
Going back more than thirty years, 6 Series BMWs have always been big coupes with classic proportions and substantial performance. With its latest 6 Series models, BMW has expanded that categorization, first by including convertibles and second by stretching the definition of the word “coupe.” With the arrival of the Gran Coupe, the 6 Series is now available as a four-door, albeit one that is more rakishly styled (and less roomy) than a more conventional sedan, such as BMW’s own 5 Series. Big performance is a given here, but it can be taken to a higher plane with the M6, which is available in all three body styles.
The BMW 6 Series comes in three body styles -- two-door coupe, four-door Gran Coupe, and convertible -- and all three are available in three strengths: 640i, 650i, and M6. Both the 640i and the 650i can be had with xDrive all-wheel drive. The 640i uses BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter straight six, here tuned to deliver 315 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. The turbo six is not only good for a 0-to-60-mph sprint of 5.3 seconds (640i coupe), it also returns as much as 22/33 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for such a big car. All-wheel drive drags down fuel economy but aids wet-weather traction. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the 650i amps up performance with 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. The 0-to-60 time drops into the mid 4-second range, and fuel economy also drops, to 17/25 mpg (650i coupe). Buyers can choose either an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual in the 640i and the 650i.
At the top of the heap is the M6. Here, the 6 Series personal-luxury coupe/convertible morphs into a serious performance machine. Capping its exterior styling touches is an exposed carbon-fiber roof (which negates the possibility of a sunroof); inside, you’ll find sport bucket seats with more prominent lateral support. The mechanical upgrades start with a 560-hp version of the 4.4-liter V-8 that, when driven in anger, sounds like a stock car and feels almost as fast. It’s mated to a seven-speed M-DCT dual-clutch automatic (or a six-speed manual). Don’t look for AWD -- the M6 is rear-wheel drive only. The M6 gets firmer chassis tuning and the Active M rear differential for even greater cornering ability; note, however, that the ride can be firm.
Know that much of the driving experience here can be customized. Standard driving dynamics control -- on all 6 Series models -- allows drivers to tailor throttle response, steering effort, damper firmness, automatic transmission programming, and stability control threshold, all via easily accessible buttons on the center console. A readout in the instrument cluster lets you keep track of what you’ve selected. This is a car that moves easily from sport to luxe.
- Audi A7
- Maserati GranTurismo
- Mercedes-Benz CL
- Mercedes-Benz CLS