BMW unleashes its redesigned 6 Series

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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First introduced in 1976, the BMW 6 Series was a large coupe with unconventional good looks and pleasing driving dynamics. When it was discontinued in 1989, the world had lost a truly great touring car. Fourteen years passed before the second generation of the much loved 6er was released in 2003, and this time, things were different. Where the original car was powered by an inline six-cylinder engine, the North American version featured a large V8. Styling was polarizing at best. Under the direction of design head Chris Bangle, the car featured front and rear bodywork that either impressed or agitated onlookers. Now the third generation has arrived and while it is also powered by a V8, it carries a more cohesive exterior design and even more technological innovations within.

In comparison to the previous generation, the new 6 Series is less rounded and even more sculpted. The body panels look like they've been shrink-wrapped to the car. Up front, the styling resembles to the latest 5-Series, but at the rear a concave trunk lid and upswept taillights give the coupe a look all its own.

The new 6 Series is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 that comes with twin-turbochargers. The engine is good for a maximum output of 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a new eight-speed Sport Automatic with paddle-shift operation, or a traditional six-speed manual, which BMW says is popular with North Americans. According to BMW, the impressive power figures make for a 0-100km/h run time of just 4.9 seconds.

Inside, drivers are greeted by an elegantly styled cabin. The dashboard and centre console flow into each other gracefully and overall, the styling is modern and harmonious. Entertainment and vehicle information is displayed on a large 10.2-inch monitor while a nine-speaker sound system is offered as standard equipment. A twelve-speaker Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System is optional and comes with a one-year SiriusXM satellite radio subscription. BMW's much criticized, but much improved iDrive control system allows drivers to control the stereo system, as well as other infotainment, communication, and navigation functions.

Noteworthy driving aids include BMW's Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, a Lane Departure Warning System, BMW Head-Up-Display, Active Blind Spot Detection, and Rear-View, Top View, and Side View Cameras. That last set of features is particularly interesting. To enable the rear and side views of the 6 Series, BMW mounted small cameras to the deck lid and front fenders. The top view camera yields a bird's-eye-view of the car as well as its surroundings. All respective viewpoints are transmitted to the car's Central Display.

The 6 Series coupe is due for sale in North America this fall, at which point pricing will be available. Once it arrives, the new 6 Series is sure to build upon BMW's reputation for making impressive touring cars.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, BMW, 2012, 6 Series, $75,000 - $99,999,

Organizations: BMW

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