With the question 'how good is the BMW 6-series' is linked the question 'just how versatile is the modern car platform?'.

Because, beneath the unconventionally-styled skin of BMW's big coupe and cabriolet (and four-door Gran Coupe), lies the same architecture you'll find beneath all of BMW's large rear-wheel-drive cars, including the latest 5-series, the 5-series GT, 7-series saloon and even the £200k Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Can you really take a platform used for a full-size limo and adapt it to make a convincing open-top GT? We'll see.

What's already clear is that, as is now the norm in the BMW range these days, the badging gives no clue to the engines under the 6-series' long, sculpted bonnet. The 640i features a 316bhp 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbo, while the 650i gets a 402bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. There’s also a 309bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel, badged 640d. The same engines feature in all variants of the 6-series, including the Mercedes-Benz CLS-rivalling 6-series Gran Coupe.

Top 5 Grand Tourers

  • Aston Martin DB9
    The Aston Martin DB9 is a V12-engined grand tourer

    Aston Martin DB9

    1
  • The Bentley Continental GT is now available as a W12 or a V8

    Bentley Continental GT

    2
  • Mercedes-Benz SL

    3
  • The Jag XK is equally capable of crossing continents or shredding its tyres on track

    Jaguar XK

    4
  • The 6-series shares its plaform with models as diverse as the 5-series and Rolls-Royce Ghost

    BMW 6-series

    5

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