First Look: BMW 6-Series Coupe

Shanghai show to bring official debut.

by on Mar.15, 2011

The new BMW 6-Series Coupe is scheduled to make its debut at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show.

No car manufacturer can get around the fact that China is rapidly becoming an essential part of the global auto show circuit. Indeed, BMW has recognized that perhaps better than any foreign maker.  It went there, several years ago, to reveal an advanced styling exercise, one of the very first major foreign products launched at a Chinese car show.

Now it is heading back for the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show which – unfortunately – coincides with the annual New York Auto Show.  But China has won, it seems, a reflection of the reality that the Asian nation is now the world’s largest national car market.  So the all-new version of the BMW 6-Series Coupe will make its big debut in Shanghai.

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The third-generation 6-Series Coupe is the fraternal twin brother of the BMW 6-er Convertible that debuted in Detroit last January, and which will arrive on the North American market in May, just in time for open air season.

Just like the Convertible, the Coupe has jumped in size compared to the predecessor that debuted in 2004. It grows 2.9 inches in length and 1.5 inches in width, while the wheelbase increases nearly 3 inches, to 112.6 inches.

Compare and contrast: the new 6-er Coupe and Convertible models both go on sale this year.

The new model will arrive on the market as the 640i and 650i. The 640i is equipped with a 3-liter inline six cylinder with TwinPower turbo and direct injection. It produces 320 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, good for a sprint time from zero to 62 mph (0 to 100 kmh) of 5.4 seconds. The good news is that fuel efficiency will be 29 mpg with CO2 emissions of 179 gram per kilometre.

This is possible because of the start-stop function and the so-called Eco Pro mode, which allows the driver, with one push of a button, to shift engine revving in order to minimize fuel consumption.  The system also cuts the energy consumption of the air conditioning and heating system.

Inside the new 6-Series Coupe.

The V-8 in the 650i produces 407 hp and 443 lb-ft, good for a sprint time of 4.9 seconds. Fuel consumption is rated at 22 mpg.

The Coupe will be equipped with Bi-Xenon head lamps, and will be available with the same range of ConnectedDrive features, including a full-color Head-Up Display, rear view camera, Surround View, Parking Assist, Night Vision and Speed Limit Info (though some technologies on both models will be left off the U.S. list). Also Active Steering will be available, as well.

Another view of the new BMW 650i Coupe.

A Bang & Olufsen high-end surround sound system has been developed especially for the 6 Series and consists of 16 speakers, while the standard hi-fi audio system will come with 9 speakers. MP3-comptible CD drive and Aux-in connection will be standard.  And depending on the market, buyers will have optional infotainment gear including a DVD changer, TV module and Digital Audio Broadcasting receiver (DAB) and USB audio interface.

The new 6-Series Coupe will be built at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Germany and is expected to reach the American market next autumn.


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