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2014 BMW 6 Series Overview
The sport-oriented BMW 6 Series coupes and convertibles receive a few updates for 2014, including a revised navigation system and available all-wheel drive (AWD) across the trim lineup. In addition, BMW unveils a new 6 Series Frozen Brilliant White Convertible for 2014. Available in just 100 units worldwide, the limited-edition roadster adds a number of features to the standard 650i Convertible, including Frozen Brilliant White Metallic exterior paint, black dual kidney grilles, Frozen Black mirror caps and unique 20-inch Ferric Gray light-alloy wheels. Other features for the Frozen Brilliant White Edition, available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or BMW's xDrive AWD system, include black Nappa leather upholstery, a black convertible soft top and Gray Poplar wood trim. BMW also includes its M Sport and Executive packages, as well as a Cold Weather package on trims equipped with AWD.
All 2014 6 Series trims receive the latest version of BMW's iDrive navigation system, with a revised design, updated graphics, 3D components and a tweaked operating system. New features for iDrive 4.2 include updated 3D menus, easy customization options, 3D city modeling, a dictation function, speech-based editing tools and the ability to link two phones to the car's system, enabling two occupants to make phone calls and send emails. The system includes a 10.2-inch screen and a 200GB hard drive. BMW also offers its xDrive AWD system as a new option for the 640i Gran Coupe for 2014, making the AWD option available across the line.
Now in its third generation and designed as a sporty alternative to BMW's more traditional coupes, sedans and convertibles, the 6 Series comes with a choice of two engines, as well as a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, a sport suspension and a well-equipped, high-tech interior. BMW offers the 6 Series in a total of 12 trims, including the 640i and 650i 2-door Coupes, the 640i and 650i 4-door Gran Coupes and the 640i and 650i 2-door Convertibles, all available with either RWD or AWD. Power for the 640i trims comes from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine, which produces 315 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, while the 650i trims get a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 pumping out 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. The 6-cylinder pushes the 640i trims from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, while the 650i trims make the leap to 60 mph in under 5 seconds.
Both engines mate to a ZF 8-speed Sport automatic transmission with close-spaced ratios in the lower gears for quicker acceleration and improved fuel economy. The transmission also includes sport and manual-shift modes with standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Fuel economy numbers check in at 23 mpg city/33 highway for RWD 640i Coupes, 20/30 for RWD 640i Gran Coupes and Convertibles, and 17/25 for the RWD 650i Coupes, Gran Coupes and Convertibles. For AWD 640i trims, the numbers drop to 20/29, while the AWD 650i trims manage 16/24. Both engines require premium fuel.
The 6 Series rides on a 5 Series platform, with a lengthened body and a sport suspension. A standard damping control system adjusts the firmness of the ride, with driver-selectable Comfort, Comfort Plus, Sport and Sport Plus settings, although some testers find the Comfort Plus too soft for even daily driving. In addition, a Driving Dynamics Control system includes an ECO mode for more efficient operation. Electro-hydraulic brakes and speed-sensitive, variable-assist Servotronic electronic steering come standard on all trims except the 650i xDrive Gran Coupe, which gets hydraulic steering. Testers say the 6 Series handles well despite its weight, thanks in part to the adjustable damping system, which stiffens up the ride and greatly reduces body roll in the Sport and Sport Plus settings. However, some reviewers classify the 6 Series more as a sporty grand tourer, rather than a performance-oriented speed racer.
Last redesigned in 2012, the 6 Series displays a sporty, streamlined look, highlighted up front by a long, sculpted nose with an aluminum hood, HID auto-leveling headlights, LED corona rings and LED foglights. Dual straight lines run along the shapely sides, while the rear end displays LED taillights and dual exhausts. Rain-sensing windshield wipers, retractable headlight washers and heated power-adjustable side mirrors with an auto-dimming function also come standard. The 640i trims ride on 18-inch light-alloy wheels with all-season tires, while the 650i trims come equipped with 19-inch light-alloy wheels.
As expected for a vehicle with a price tag topping out over six figures, the 6 Series offers a well-equipped, comfortable cabin with a wide range of luxury-oriented and tech features. The 640i trims come standard with Dakota leather upholstery and door trim, heated 10-way power-adjustable front seats with 4-way lumbar support and memory for the driver's seat, Gray Poplar wood interior trim, ambient interior lighting and a power tilt/telescopic steering column. A leather-wrapped multifunction sport steering wheel, automatic climate control, keyless entry and a tilting glass panel roof are also included. Tech features include push-button start, a rear-view camera, Park Distance Control and a 9-speaker, 205-watt Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound audio system with a CD/MP3 player, HD radio, USB and Bluetooth. Satellite radio remains a dealer-installed option.
The 650i trims up the ante with Nappa leather upholstery and door trim, 20-way power front multi-contour seats with 4-way lumbar support and a 12-speaker, 500-watt audio system. The convertibles add a fully lined black soft-top with a heated glass rear window, which drivers can raise or lower independently of the top, while the Gran Coupes include split-folding rear seats. All 6 Series trims seat 4 passengers in a 2+2 arrangement, although the rear seat remains tight for taller adults.
Standard safety features for all 6 Series trims include front and side-impact airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control and 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with Dynamic Brake Control, brake-fade compensation, a start-off assistant and brake drying. In addition, BMW includes its Assist eCall emergency request and automatic collision system with a 10-year subscription. The IIHS and NHTSA have not safety-tested the 6 Series, although the IIHS gave the 2013 5 Series a top safety rating of Good.
Competitors for the BMW 6 Series include luxury sport coupes and sedans like the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide, as well as such vehicles as the Audi A7 and the Jaguar XF.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.
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