BMW has confirmed it is ditching the bullish appearance of the existing 6-series for a more svelte and classically elegant look by revealing this lightly veiled concept, on show in North America for the first time today at the LA motor show.
This highly refined look was first hinted at on the four-door Gran Coupé concept at the Beijing motor show in April. It ties the new 6-series in visually with other recent BMW models, notably the 5-series, with which it shares much of its mechanical package.
The new 6-series is set to go on sale in the UK in coupé guise next April. A fabric-roofed convertible version will follow before the end of next year.
The new 6-series continues BMW’s design revolution under the watch of Adrian van Hooydonk, whose mould-breaking Z9 Gran Turismo concept car of 1999 laid down the styling template for today’s 6-series.
“With this car, I feel like I have come full circle,” he said. “I was lucky enough to influence today’s 6-series. And I’ve also been heavily involved in defining the new look of the coupé concept.”
Despite this car’s billing as a concept, van Hooydonk confirms that the production version of the new 6-series will vary little from it. The only expected changes are altered exterior mirror housings, different tailpipes and less flamboyant wheels. “What you see is largely what we intend to place into production,” he said.
That includes what van Hooydonk describes as “a shark-like nose” featuring highly technical headlamp graphics (to be offered with optional LED corona lenses like those of the concept), a slightly forward-leaning kidney grille and a full-width air duct within the lower part of the bumper.
The long bonnet is more contoured than before and, like the rest of the car’s steel body, has tauter surfacing than today’s somewhat bloated-looking model.
At the rear are L-shaped lamps that use similar LED graphics to those seen on the 5-series. The boot is also more integrated than before and now boasts a subtle spoiler integrated into the metal.
Munich insiders confirm the car is virtually the same length but a good deal wider and slightly lower than today’s 4820mm-long, 1855mm-wide and 1375mm-high model. It also boasts an incremental increase in wheelbase, so it will be roomier inside, especially in the rear. Boot capacity will remain at 450 litres.
The cabin has an asymmetrical dashboard that hints at early BMWs by angling the centre console slightly towards the driver. “It’s a coupé, a driver’s car,” said van Hooydonk. “We think it should have a more driver-centric feel than our regular models.”
BMW will not reveal the engine range just yet. But in keeping with the downsizing trend evident in other recent BMW models, expect it to receive a combination of turbocharged in-line six-cylinder and V8 petrol units in successors to today’s 630i and 650i, along with a turbocharged six-cylinder diesel as a follow-up to the excellent 635d.
Topping the new line-up will be a successor to the M6 running a new twin-turbo V8 from BMW’s M division.