BMW’s next-generation 6-Series isn’t due to be unveiled until the 2011 Geneva Auto Show but prototypes for the new car are already testing in Europe and have been captured by spy photographers on a number of occasions. Like the recently launched 2010 Z4, the new 6-Series is expected to feature a folding metal hard-top, making it both a coupe and a convertible.

As for the car’s styling, not much is known although the original BMW CS Concept from 2007 is expected to play an influential role. Speaking with reporters at last month’s 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, BMW’s U.S. chief Jim O’Donnell has boasted that “the next 6-series is the best-looking car that BMW has done in years. It’s really stunning.”

O’Donnell went on to reveal that the car will be “super sleek”, while also admitting that the current model’s Bangle butt has polarized many.

The current 6-Series has proven to be a sales success, however, with numbers averaging just on 20,000 units per year. BMW doesn't want to risk hurting sales of the next-generation model so for the new car designers will be dialing down the controversial styling. Heading the design of the new car is Adrian van Hooydonk.

The spy shots confirm the sleeker new look as well as a wider stance. The wheelbase will also be slightly longer than the current car, but overhangs, both front and back, will be shorter.

[Automobile Magazine]