KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/12/2012
Alongside its luxury-sports sedans, crossover SUVs and 2-seat sports cars, BMW proudly offers high-priced, high-performance, low-volume 6 Series luxury sports coupes, convertibles and now "4-door coupes" for affluent buyers more interested in style and image than practicality. The first 6 Series succeeded the 3.0CSi coupe for 1977 and ran through 1989. The second generation debuted in 2003. For 2012, the Gen-3 6 Series raised the ante in style and performance, and for 2013 the coupe and convertible are joined by high-performance M versions and fastback 4-door, 5-seat Gran Coupe models. Offering turbo-6 or turbo-V8 power driving the rear (or all four) wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission (or the M models' 7-speed DCT), they look great, go like rockets and handle at least as well as anything in this small-volume segment.
You'll Like This Car If...
Beyond all their power, technology and feature advantages, the 2013 BMW 6s are roomier yet less expensive and more fuel-efficient (with the turbo-6) than near-rivals Mercedes-Benz SL and Jaguar XK.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Compared with the BMW 6 coupe, the smaller, 2-seat Mercedes-Benz SL is more powerful and more of a sports car than a luxo-tourer; the Jaguar XK is more sleekly styled with a richer interior and offers a high-performance XKR version.
What's New for 2013
New 2013 6 Series Gran Coupes debuted in spring, 2012 offering the same features and powertrains as the coupes and convertibles, and the 650i models' TwinPower turbo V8 is upgraded to 445 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, 45 more horses and 30 more lb-ft than in 2012. The M6 Coupe and Convertible boast BMW's most powerful production engine ever, a 560-hp 4.4-liter TwinPower turbo V8, up five hp with the same 500 lb-ft of torque as the V10 it replaces, and 25 percent more fuel efficient.
In Comfort mode, the 2013 BMW 650i Coupes, Convertible and Gran Coupes are high-power pleasure cruisers combining a comfortable ride with ready responsiveness. Dial their standard Driving Dynamics Systems up to Sport+ mode, and the transmissions kick down, the revs go up, the suspensions gets tight, and they begin to feel like smaller, lighter performance coupes. Capable of 4.6-second 0-60-mph bursts, they are as fast as you'd expect 445-hp cars of this size to be, and a small turbo step – not really lag – is the magnificent turbo V8's only mentionable quirk. The 640i models' turbo-6 is no slouch at 5.4 seconds from 0-60 and more fuel efficient, especially in ECO-PRO dynamics mode. Buyers seeking to err on the side of comfort might want to stick with the smaller 18-inch standard wheels and tires. The multi-configurable, track-developed M6 versions are as docile as you want them to be around town and on the highway, but fierce-cornering, performing and braking tigers when turned loose on a racetrack.
BMW PARKING ASSISTANT
This feature helps maneuver into parallel parking spaces by first measuring a potential space's size to be sure the car will comfortably fit, then automatically steering into it. The driver just operates the accelerator and brake while keeping an eye on the area around the car.
SURROUND VIEW SYSTEM
Using cameras in the outside mirrors, it provides a bird's-eye Top View of the area around the car to aid maneuvering in tight spaces, while its selectable Side View function uses cameras in the sides of the front bumper to monitor traffic crossing in front of the car.
We appreciate BMW's evolutionary if-it-ain't-broke, don't-fix-it approach to interior design, but we'd still rather ride in an Audi cabin. That said, we're beginning to see more color, more premium materials and more interesting shapes in new BMWs, and this new-generation 6 Series might represent the pinnacle so far. From a practical standpoint, the coupe/convertible back seat is tight, but the trunk is surprisingly sizable, and the soft convertible top doesn't use as much cargo area as a retractable hardtop would. The new longer-wheelbase Gran Coupe can accommodate five adults in reasonable quiet and comfort.
While the 2013 BMW 6 Series design is evolutionary, it represents a major improvement over the outgoing models. This third-generation's hood is long, its front overhang fashionably short, its roofline low and sleek, its stance wide and athletic, its face instantly recognizable and its high-performance M6 versions appropriately hunkered down and sporty. The new-for-2013 Gran Coupe joins the curious (primarily German) "4-door coupe" club to take on Mercedes' CLS and Audi's A7, and while it's not as sexy as the actual (2-door) coupe, it's nicely proportioned despite its 5-passenger seating mission.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 BMW 640i Coupe pairs a 315-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder engine with an 8-speed "sport" automatic transmission with shift paddles on its standard leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The rest of the impressive list includes Driving Dynamics Control with ECO-PRO, Comfort, Comfort+, Sport and Sport+ modes, Dynamic Damper Control, adaptive LED Headlights that follow curves in the road, BMW's iDrive central controller with Navigation and a 10.2-inch central flat-screen display, a rearview camera, front/rear parking sensors and four years of the BMW Assist Safety Plan with automatic crash notification and other services.
Notable Optional Equipment
The 2013 BMW 650i xDrive Convertible begins with the 445-horsepower turbo V8 with all-wheel drive (AWD), and an available Driver Assistance Package adds Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, Side and Top View Cameras, Parking Assistant and a new-generation Head-Up-Display. Among the many other interesting options are BMW-exclusive Active Roll Stabilization, Integral Active Steering, a Premium Sound Package, a Luxury Seating Package, an M-Sport Package and a range of "BMW Individual" appearance features that allows customers to tailor their 6 Series exteriors and interiors to their personal style.
Under the Hood
Never has BMW offered the 6 Series in so many flavors. The higher-output turbo V8 650i models will likely be the volume sellers, but the Turbo-6 640i models will appeal to those wanting lower prices and/or better fuel economy, while xDrive AWD will attract buyers in the Snow Belt. Both engines are upgraded for 2013, the turbo-6 primarily for around-town fuel efficiency, the V8 for higher power and torque, and both drive the rear (or all four) wheels through an 8-speed "sport" automatic transmission, manually shiftable via paddles on the standard sport leather steering wheel.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
315 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg (automatic)
4.4-liter turbocharged V8
445 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
480 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 16/24 mpg (AWD)
4.4-liter turbocharged V8
560 horsepower @ 5,750-7,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg
The 2013 BMW 6 Series starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $75,000 for the 640i Coupe and tops out beyond $115,000 fully loaded. The 640i and 650i convertibles sticker at $7,500 more than the coupes, and the Gran Coupes range from about $77K MSRP to north of $90K for the 650i xDrive (in all cases, xDrive adds $3,000). The Driver Assistance Package is priced at $3,700, the Luxury Seating Package at $3,600 and the M-Sport Package at $4,200. The M6 Coupe starts at $106,995 MSRP, the M6 Convertible at $113,995, including $895 destination. Compared to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL and Jaguar XK Coupe and Convertible, the 2013 BMW 6 Series clearly represents more car for the money, and both it and the Mercedes SL promise to hold their values better than the Jaguar XK.