Receiving their first public airing at the Detroit motor show prior to the start of UK sales early this year, the changes brought to the six-strong line-up are so slight that they are likely to be barely detectable to all but the most ardent of 6 Series aficionados.
The biggest clue to the facelifted model is the exterior, which receives a series of subtle alterations. Included is a lightly reprofiled front bumper with a newly designed kidney grille, revised headlights boasting a standard LED main beam function, a reworked rear bumper and newly designed wheels (17in on six-cylinder models, 18in on more powerful V8 models).
BMW has also reacted to criticism of the interior by providing the facelifted model with higher-quality surface materials. New two-colour leather trims are among a long list of options which also includes the latest incarnation of the German car maker’s head-up display function.
The engine line-up for the 6 Series remains the same as before. However, an improvement in efficiency brings EU6 compliance across the line-up while providing marginal gains in acceleration and in-gear performance together with reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The petrol engines also receive a sports exhaust with a switchable flap as standard for what BMW describes as a “more alluring soundtrack”.
The petrol units include a twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder that develops 316bhp and 332lb ft in the 640i, and a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 with 444bhp and 479lb ft in the 650i, which is claimed to hit 62mph 0.3sec faster than before at 4.6sec while going on to a top speed limited to 155mph in rear-wheel drive coupé guise.
Also available is a sequential turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel engine. It produces 309bhp and 464lb ft in the 640d, which is claimed to offer a 2.0mpg improvement in combined cycle fuel consumption at 54.3mpg, allied to average CO2 emissions of 146mpg in the standard rear-wheel drive coupé.
As before, all new 6 Series models come as standard with an eight speed automatic gearbox boasting remote steering wheel mounted shift paddles. A raft of fuel-saving features from BMW’s EfficientDynamics program also feature, including automatic stop-start and a coasting function as part of the Eco Pro driving mode – one of five different modes from which the driver can choose.
Buyers can also specify BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system. While adding 75kg to the kerb weight, it serves to enhance traction, bringing about an improvement in the standing-start acceleration on each of the new 6-series models.