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Six Appeal; The New BMW 6 Series

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On: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 11:02AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Six Appeal; The New BMW 6 Series

Last time around, famous, or perhaps infamous, designer Chris Bangle penned a 6-series; the car became a hit… For a while. But that eye-catching yet controversial patchwork has not stood the test of time, and has become extremely dated and, to some, even unappealing. But new chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk has taken the essence of what originally made the 6-series appealing and sanitized the scary out of it. 

The new Six has kept the long hood/short deck profile that helps any sporty car look sportier, and actually made it slightly more dramatic. The 6-series was never posing as a Miata, and the newest generation keeps that theme by measuring in at 54 inches high, 75 inches wide, and 193 inches long, with more than a few inches of that length coming from the extended nose of the new car. The wheelbase has been extended three inches to 112 for improved interior room and handling capabilities.

Visually the new 6-series sets itself apart with a more windswept front fascia, announcing its presence with a large-mouth opening (presumably for the sake of an intercooler). The new front end comes with laid back, full-LED headlights (replete with adaptive lighting), and a much more styled rear-end, with dual integrated exhaust tips. From the rear, the car looks much more athletic, and has a hint of either late-model Honda Prelude combined with the ancestral (and stunning) 840/850i BMWs of yesteryear.

Under the hood, there is a choice of BMW corporate motors: The 640i gets the 3.0-liter inline turbo six-cylinder making about 315-horsepower (also found in the X3, X5, X6, Z4, 1-, 3-, 5- and 7-series). The 650i gets the bigger, meaner 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 (remember that need for an intercooler?) producing about 400-horsepower (also found in X5, X6, 5- and 7-series, and will more than likely power an M-car or two). Speaking of M cars, the next M6 will follow in the M5’s tire tracks and ditch the polarizing Indy-inspired V10 for a X5 M/X6 M-derived 555-horsepower V8 and seven or even eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (instead of the outdated SMG transmission). The M will come onto the scene by the middle of summer, and then expect a four-door GT version of the car to make its way onto the highway to do battle with likes of the Mercedes SLS and Audi A7 Sportback.

The 650i Convertible is the only model on sale right now at BMW dealers, but that’s just simple marketing. Aside from the M6, the 650i vert is the priciest of the bunch with an MSRP of $90,500. The coupe version or smaller-engine 640i would cost less, so while the buzz is hot, sell as many of the money-makers as you can, right? Right. So get down to your local dealership and check out that hot little number in the window. If you’re lucky, she might even have her top down waiting for you!

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