- BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe UK Version, 2013
BMW will expand the 6-Series range in the UK to three models in June 2012 with the introduction of the Gran Coupé. BMW's first four-door coupé combines the elegant and sporty appearance of a classic grand tourer with the space and ease of access of an executive saloon.
A new 450hp V8 heads a range of three Twin Power Turbo engines, which also includes six-cylinder petrol and six-cylinder diesel powerplants. All three engines drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission and come with the full suite of Efficient Dynamics technologies, including Auto Start-Stop, ensuring highly responsive performance goes hand-in-hand with low fuel consumption and emissions. Extensive use of aluminium in the body and chassis reduces weight and ensures that the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé has the agility and precision expected of a BMW.
The BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé has the proportions of a classic grand tourer coupé - characterised by a long bonnet, a sweeping roof line 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 BMW 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 BMW 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.
BMW is renowned for producing award winning engines and the triumvirate powering the new 6-Series Gran Coupé are no different. All three have won their respective categories at the International Engine of the Year Awards. And in the case of the flagship 650i Gran Coupé it has just been revised for 2012 with increased power and torque.
The most popular derivative of the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé will be this model which is likely to account for circa 80 per cent of all UK sales. For drivers wanting a longdistance tourer this BMW is possibly one of the world's most sporting yet luxurious diesels. The all-aluminium 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder unit in the 640d Gran Coupé records a combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg. With its 70-litre fuel tank it, thus, has a potential range of almost 800 miles, while its CO2 emissions have been pared down to just148g/km. This brings the double benefits of a 22 percent BIK for company car drivers and Vehicle Excise Duty of just £130 a year.
However, in performance terms the luxury model still produces 313hp at 4,400rpm and 630Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,500rpm. It matches the 640i for acceleration from zero to 62mph with a peak time of 5.4 seconds.
The 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine in the BMW 640i Gran Coupé features direct injection with VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft control, and has a single twin-scroll turbocharger. With this arrangement three exhaust pipes channel air back to the turbine through one scroll while the other three do the same. In this configuration two streams of exhaust gases keep the turbocharger operating at its optimum.
The result is an engine that develops peak power of 320hp at 5,800rpm, while 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.
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. This powerplant 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 vee between the cylinder banks with one turbocharger feeding one side of the engine and the other side feeding the other bank.
The new engine has the addition of VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, which improves driveability, performance and efficiency. Thus acceleration from zero to 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.
Like any BMW, the 6-Series Gran Coupé benefits from Efficient Dynamics 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.
On all versions of the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé power is transmitted to the road by an eight-speed sports automatic transmission. With its extremely fast gear changes this unit is built for sporty driving, comfortable shifting and optimised efficiency. It is operated using the electronic gear selector on the centre console. For manual gear changing, this transmission comes with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
The BMW 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, with the renowned Adaptive Drive package available as an option. The standard configuration allows for the optimum in suspension geometry for a road car, while the Adaptive Drive package builds on this for even greater variety.
Adaptive Drive is a system that allows the driver to choose the set-up of their own car, comprising Variable Damper Control and Dynamic Drive active anti-roll stability management. It allows the car to uniquely offer a firm suspension set-up for sporty driving while softening bumps in way a car with much more comfort-orientated setting should the driver feel so inclined. Controlled electronically, the unique and innovative new damper system, in which the inbound and rebound strokes are independent of each other, adjust both to the road surface and the driver's style of motoring.
Dynamic Drive automatically reduces side roll of the car in bends and in sudden changes of direction, with sensors determining by how much motors in the front and rear anti-roll bars should build up counteracting forces to keep the car level.
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 latest generation of BMW Connected Drive in the new BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé includes an array of industry-leading intelligent safety and driver assistance systems including traffic information, emergency call functions, online information, a telephone enquiry services, on-board camera and sensor information, comfort and infotainment.
BMW Assist, part of BMW Connected Drive, ensures that drivers of the new BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé are constantly in contact with the outside world, making them feel safe and able to call on help for all manner of events.
Drivers can access news and information via the internet and SMS, have 24-7 call centre help and are able to receive locations and notes sent to the car. This is all at the time safe in the knowledge that should they be involved in an incident, emergency services can be notified or 999 operators patched straight through to the cabin courtesy of the SOS emergency call function.
The SOS emergency function remains active whether the subscription for other services is continued or not. The subscription is complimentary for the first three years of ownership, and £120 annually thereafter. It works when sensors in the BMW Assist system recognise an accident has occurred. A call is instantly and automatically put through to the emergency services, and exact co-ordinates of the car sent through too. The 999 call centre will also know if the call was triggered manually by pushing the SOS button located in the car, or automatically through sensors. The system also allows the operator to speak to occupants.
Among many useful features, the driver can be put in contact with BMW's Customer Service centre, which can help with finding destinations such as hotels or restaurants. Also RSS feeds from websites can be sent to the car, there is the ability to plan routes and send messages, and even technology where a BMW Customer Service operative can unlock the car remotely.
The BMW 640i Gran Coupé and BMW 640d Gran Coupé go on sale in the UK on 2 June 2012, with the BMW 650i Gran Coupé a month later. Prices start from £61,380 OTR for a 640i SE, rising to £75,130 OTR for a 650i M Sport.
In its first full year BMW expects to sell 700 6-Series Gran Coupés. By comparison during the same period BMW would expect to sell 1,000 6-Series Coupés and 400 Convertibles.
A high standard specification
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 M Sport derivative is expected to account for circa 80 per cent of all BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé sales.
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.