Face-lifted Six debuts at Detroit. The entire 6 Series range – Coupé F13, Convertible F12 and Gran Coupé F06 – have received their Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) upgrades and took centre stage at the first major motor show of the year in Detroit. At first glance the changes may appear mild but BMW UK is promising enhanced specifications and improvements in EfficientDynamics technologies that will make the cars more appealing, and along with new colours and options there will be even greater possibilities to exactly personalise your Six.
In the three years since the 6 Series was launched almost 80,000 examples have been sold globally and currently the svelte and stylish Gran Coupé accounts for almost half of 6 Series sales. In terms of power and torque the two six-cylinder units (640i and 640d) and the brace of V8s (650i and M6) remain unaltered but the 640s do see improvements in economy and emissions figures. A 640i sees economy improve from a claimed 36.7 to 38.2mpg while a 640d reduces its consumption from 51.4 to 54.3mpg. Perhaps of more interest to enthusiasts will be the fact that all petrol versions now have a sports-tuned exhaust which provides a soundtrack to match the cars’ performance. A switchable valve adjusted through the Driving Experience Control system can be used to reduce exhaust back-pressure, adding a significantly sportier edge to the sound coming from the tailpipes.
The suspension systems have also been honed to the character of the models and can be further personalised through options like Dynamic Damper Control, which varies its responses electronically according to where and how the car is being driven; Adaptive Drive, which includes roll stabilisation; and Integral Active Steering, which introduces an element of rear-wheel steer to reduce the amount of turning effort needed while enhancing agility. In keeping with current BMW practice the exterior changes are almost of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety. Those with eagle eyes may have noticed that the kidney grilles have been subtly reshaped and now feature nine bars where previously it had ten, a change that BMW rather grandly claims “emphasises the power of the engines through the amount of cooling air they need”! The front apron has been reshaped and now has one full-width air intake and the headlights have been upgraded to full LED spec as standard as have the front foglight strips.
The door mirrors have been subtly reshaped and now house the indicator side repeaters, while at the rear of the car there’s a new chrome strip running along the bumper to emphasise the car’s width and six-cylinder models now have 10mm larger chrome tailpipe trims. The Gran Coupé will have a revised side window surround and a black painted aluminium section with raised ‘Gran Coupé’ lettering at the foot of the Hofmeister kink on the C-pillar. There are also new 18-inch alloy wheels for the Coupé and Convertible, and five new metallic paint finishes – Jatoba, Cashmere silver, Glacier silver, Mediterranean blue and Melbourne red.
Inside, the leather dashboard with contrast stitching – previously an option on all but the M Sport versions – is now standard and there is also a modern, stylish high-gloss black finish on the centre console around the switches for the climate control system and audio system. The iDrive system now features a Control Display with a chromed surround while the multi-functional instrument panel has been upgraded and there are LED lights to illuminate the footwells, door openings and glovebox. Dakota, Nappa or Merino leather trim will be standard in the UK, depending on model. The Nappa leather now offers two bi-colour options – ivory white with black or cognac with black.
The face-lifted 6 Series Coupé, Convertible and Gran Coupé and their M equivalents go on sale in the UK from 1 March but as we went to press their prices had yet to be announced.