The first official pictures of Munich's svelte rival to the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS is here
10 December 2011

BMW has revealed its long-awaited 6-series Gran Coupé, Munich’s svelte new rival to the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS. Seen here in these official pictures for the first time, the Gran Coupe will reach the UK next July.

It arrives just 20 months after being previewed as a concept car at the Beijing motor show. That concept followed the highly regarded Concept CS from 2007, which was due to enter production as the 8-series until it was axed in the recession.

See pictures of the BMW 6-series Gran Coupé

It joins the existing two-door coupé and convertible in an expanded range of 6-series models aiming to attract buyers who place greater emphasis on outright style than practicality.

BMW has announced three launch engines for the UK – all mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The entry-level 640i Gran Coupé runs a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six with 316bhp and 332lb ft of torque. The 650i receives a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 packing 444bhp and 479lb ft – good for 0-62mph in 4.6sec.

Also available from the start of UK sales will be the 640d Gran Coupé, with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel that produces 309bhp and 464lb ft. Along with 0-62mph acceleration of 5.4sec and a governed 155mph top speed, it is claimed to deliver combined fuel economy of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 148g/km.

A range-topping M6 Gran Coupé will follow late next year, powered by the same 552bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 used in the M5.

Despite the availability of four-wheel drive for certain models in selected left-hand drive markets, all official right-hand-drive models bound for the UK will be rear drive.

Stylistically, the Gran Coupé is identical to the 6-series coupé and convertible from its forward-leaning kidney grille through to the upper trailing edge of its windscreen.

However, it adopts a longer and flatter roof structure, substantial B-pillars and two conventionally front-hinged rear doors. To help provide the Gran Coupé with an added touch of coupé-like style, all four doors are frameless.

With a length of 5007mm, width of 1894mm and height of 1392mm, the 6-series Gran Coupé is 112mm longer than the 6-series coupé and convertible. It’s exactly the same width and 27mm higher.

Despite its stylistic links to the two-door 6-series, the Gran Coupé rides on an altered platform with a 113mm longer wheelbase (2968mm) – the same as the 5-series saloon’s and estate’s.

Inside, BMW has used the 6-series Gran Coupé’s additional length and height to provide adequate seating for four adults. The rear bench offers up a third three-point belt to allow for up to five occupants – a layout that BMW describes as four plus one.

The seats, both front and rear, are mounted slightly higher than in the 6-series coupé and convertible for improved visibility. Boot space is put at 460 litres – 60 less than the 5-series saloon.

The Gran Coupé will be launched at the Geneva motor show in March. Prices will be about £2000 higher than the equivalent 6-series coupé, starting at £61,000 for the 640i.

Greg Kable

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