At the 2012 Geneva auto show, BMW displayed two very different versions of its 6-series. The M6 is the latest high-performance version, boasting 560 horsepower, and the all-new 6 Gran Coupe is a four-door version, providing a bit of elegance.
The 6-series received a major update recently, with an all-new body, engine, and cabin tech. Following up on that new generation, BMW revealed the new M car based on the 6-series. As with the past M6, this new car represents a powerful and high-tech version capable of taking corners at high speed.
The new M6 is powered by a direct injection 4.4-liter V-8. Each bank of cylinders gets its own twin scroll turbocharger, making output of 560 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque. That kind of power gets the M6 to 60 mph in less than 4.2 seconds.
Interior appointments are mostly the same as can be found on the standard 6-series, although with an emphasis on sport elements such as carbon fiber trim. The M6 gets the same navigation system as the other 6-series cars and can be had with the Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.
The M6 comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The shifter is surrounded with buttons for controlling and activating the various performance electronics, such as the active suspension and steering.
The 6-series has always been a coupe, a designation that used to limit it to two doors. But as other car companies have released four-door coupes, BMW follows by giving the 6-series rear doors. As such, it can compete with the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS-class.
Like the standard 6-series coupe, the Gran Coupe can be had as the 640i or 650i. The 650i version comes standard with all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission is also standard in all versions. But the Gran Coupe is more than 4 inches longer than the standard 6-series.
The example on the show floor had a very nice interior design, highlighting the elegant nature of the car. The configuration of the controls and the cabin electronics are the same as in the standard 6-series.
The rear seat is obviously not as large as in BMW's flagship 7-series sedan, but it is easier to access and roomier than the rear seats of the 6-series coupe. Leg room might be a problem if the front seat passengers are tall.