With its shark-like styling re-interpreted in an all-new vehicle for 2012, the BMW 6-Series is better than ever, improving in almost every measure over the previous model.
Wearing all-new sheet metal over all-new underpinnings in both coupe and convertible forms, the 2012 6-Series is more dramatically styled, with a posh, urbane sensibility to its look. The long, sweeping hood features two prominent character lines that come to a V just above the kidney grille; the sides are flowing and elegant, rising gently to the flared rear fenders before meeting the sleek roofline at the rear deck. The nose is eager, with a definite note of sport, yet still refined and elegant. At the rear, the previous model's boat tail is gone in favor of a minimalist trunk lip spoiler and tastefully detailed bumper.
Under the hood, the 2012 6-Series offers two takes on power for the luxurious grand tourer: the 640i, powered by a stout turbocharged inline six-cylinder; and the 650i, with a forceful 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. The 640i is rated at 300 horsepower, yet scores a surprising 31 mpg on the highway, thanks in part to its standard eight-speed transmission. The 650i's V-8 is rated at 400 horsepower, but can feel like even more, with heaps of torque available from very low rpms. Both models come in rear-wheel drive, but the 650i xDrive offers an upgrade to all-wheel drive.
Pure power isn't the only aspect of performance, however, and the 2012 6-Series doesn't disappoint--if you know what to expect. These are large, luxurious grand tourers, not darty little sports cars. Continent-crossing highway runs are the 2012 6-Series' real strong suit, with the cabin quality, seats, and ride comfort all suited to extended trips. Shorter runs are just as fun, as is the odd bit of spirited driving, though its weight, especially in convertible form, will show through when changing directions rapidly.
In a high-end luxury coupe, you'd expect lots of the latest technology inside, and you'll get it with the 2012 6-Series. From a Bang & Olufsen audio system with audiophile-grade speakers and amplifiers to the latest version of the iDrive infotainment system with BMW Apps, the 6-Series is a powerhouse of information, social connection, music, and entertainment. It's also packed with high-tech driver aids, including sleep deprivation sensors, lane-keeping assistance, parking and reversing aids, and radar-adaptive cruise control.
Safety is a high priority for the typical modern car buyer, too, and though the 2012 BMW 6-Series hasn't yet been crash tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, it's built from the ground up to avoid accidents when possible and protect occupants when not. Standard stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a full suite of airbags, plus the previously mentioned driving aids combine for a competitive set of safety features.
For complete details, visit the 2012 BMW 6-Series review at The Car Connection.