What is it?
According to designer Nader Faghihzadeh, some of the shapes in the BMW 6 Series are inspired by the passage of water. Imagine poking a stick into a stream and the resultant twin ripples trailing behind it, and you have the gently curving creases emerging behind the 6's nose badge, to arc towards the bonnet's edges before streaming up the 'A' pillars.
The movement of water has added appealingly muscular sculpture to its flanks too, creating a lither, more elegant machine than its predecessor. This all-new 6 rides on the architecture of the latest 5 Series, benefitting from four-wheel steering, a cabin-enlarging wheelbase stretch, new engines and part-aluminium, part composite bodywork, although it still weighs a substantial 1840kg.
Still, the spectacular 50 per cent gain in structural stiffness is fine compensation, as are fuel-saving features such as brake energy recuperation and stop-start, though that's only fitted to the entry-level, turbocharged 3.0 straight-six sampled here.
What's it like?
This engine is 48bhp more powerful than the outgoing 630i and only 12bhp short of the old 645i, its creamy 332lb ft of torque peaking from a diesel-ish 1300 to 4500rpm. It'll rev to 7000rpm, although short-shifting at 5500rpm is speedier.