The BMW 6 coupe is a grand tourer, or GT, designed for those who like to churn up motorway miles in sporting luxury. This latest iteration goes up against established favourites including the Maserati Granturismo, Mercedes-Benz SL and the market-leading Jaguar XK Coupe, but promises better performance, comfort, efficiency and is cheaper than all three.
This 2012 model features a new 8-speed automatic transmission, rear wheels that help steer the car, an aggressive M Aerodynamic body styling kit, and the latest BMW ConnectedDrive technologies, which include night vision, a head-up display and a sat-nav that connects to the Internet.
We hopped in the £66,745 BMW 640d M Sport to discover just how good it really is.
The BMW 6 Series has, historically, looked quite understated compared to the competition. It's always been a classy, relatively attractive thing, but it's lacked the sleek lines of the Jaguar XK, the presence of the Merc SL and the sheer badassery of the Maserati Granturismo. The M Sport iteration attempts to correct that oversight, however, with the addition of an aerodynamic body kit from BMW's M motorsport division.
This doesn't quite propel it into Granturismo territory. The kit, which features large front air intakes, sideskirts and a bootlid spoiler, does provide the car with a certain understated menace. It's also worth noting the new model is 74mm longer, 39mm wider and 5mm lower than the previous model, so it's a damn sight sleeker than the car that came before it.
The new 6 Series Coupe is available in three engine guises at launch. There's the rather mental, 650i, which is powered by a 407hp twin-turbo V8; the slightly less mental 640i, which produces 320hp; and a the 'actually, this is quite mental for a diesel' 640d, whose twin-turbo diesel lump produces 313hp.
Before you walk away muttering about how all diesels are crap, you should consider this: the 640d is fast -- it'll do 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, which is quick enough to send spit down the wrong tube in your chest -- trust us on this. More importantly, it'll either match or beat the top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz SL 500, the 5.0-litre V8-powered Jaguar XK and the 4.2-litre Maserati Granturismo from the traffic lights.
Emissions and fuel economy
Despite its epic grunt, the 640d M Sport Coupe is surprisingly efficient. It emits CO2 at a rate of just 144g/km and returns 51.4mpg on the combined cycle. Its rivals are thirsty and unclean by comparison. The Jag achieves 25.2mpg and 264g/km, the Merc SL 24.4mpg and 272g/km and the Maserati a laughable 19.7mpg and 330g/km. As a result, the 640d SE costs £130 to tax annually, while road tax for its rivals will cost you up to £1,000. The money you'd save on fuel depends on how much you travel, of course, but it's safe to say the 6 Series is far cheaper to run than anything in its class.