BMW 6-Se­ries GT

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The best of the 5-Se­ries and 7-Se­ries, in one great pack­age

BMW has been try­ing to find the right niche in its model line up for the GT range and it seems it has hit the sweet spot with the 640i Gran Tur­ismo as we dis­cover on

driv­ing the car in Lis­bon

BMW has been the con­stant in­no­va­tor as far as new de­signs and body styles go. BMW was ac­tu­ally the orig­i­na­tor of the SUV when it first launched the X5 and then fol­lowed it up with the cross be­tween an SUV and a coupe in the form of the X6. Sim­i­larly BMW had also taken the com­fort of a lux­ury sedan and merged it to the at­trac­tive body-style of a coupe to form a mod­ern day Gran Tur­ismo and it did it first with a ve­hi­cle that was called the 5GT. With 7-Se­ries un­der-pin­nings, not only was the 5GT larger than the 5-Se­ries, it also had more char­ac­ter­is­tics of the 7-Se­ries than it had of the 5. Of course, the next car in this ex­per­i­ment was the 3GT and its re­cep­tion gave BMW the in­cen­tive to re­work the 5GT into an all new car, the 6-Se­ries Gran Tur­ismo.

In the words of Ian Robert­son, mem­ber of the board of man­age­ment of BMW AG, re­spon­si­ble for Sales and Brand BMW - “The BMW 6

Se­ries Gran Tur­ismo of­fers a unique com­bi­na­tion of lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior com­fort and flex­i­ble prac­ti­cal­ity, pack­aged within a truly el­e­gant de­sign. Cou­pled with the sporty, dy­namic driv­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics our cus­tomers en­joy, this car is an out­stand­ing ve­hi­cle which fur­ther en­hances the up­per end of our BMW model line up”.

Com­pared to the ear­lier 5GT, the 6GT is longer and lower while keep­ing the same width and this adds beauty to its side pro­file that al­ready has doors with frame­less win­dows both at the front and rear. While from the front the 6GT has a more dis­tinc­tive pres­ence with all LED head­lamps and DRLs, the more sharply raked A-pil­lars also give it a planted look. The high­est point of the car is now over the B-pil­lars from where the roofline looks even more coupe-like as it flows into the rear which sits much lower than on the pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tion of the GT.

On the in­side, it is like a com­ing to­gether of the more driver-ori­ented 5-Se­ries and the more lux­u­ri­ous 7-Se­ries. The cockpit takes a lot from the 5-Se­ries and in­cor­po­rates the en­tire tech that we re­cently saw on the new car while the rear has lots of space to seat three with­out too much dis­com­fort de­spite the heav­ily slop­ing roofline. The rear seat-backs are 40:20:40

IN­SIDE THE CAR, IT’S LIKE A COM­ING TO­GETHER OF THE DRIVER-ORI­ENTED 5-SE­RIES AND THE MORE LUXURIOUSLY AP­POINTED 7-SE­RIES

split and can also be elec­tri­cally re­clined for com­fort. Rear seat en­ter­tain­ment was fit­ted on the test cars and should come stan­dard on the In­dia cars. And that brings us to the boot, which at 610 litres is spa­cious by it­self but with the rear-seat-backs folded over in­creases to a cav­ernous 1,600 litres.

The car we drove was the 640i that comes with the straight-six TwinPower turbo en­gine that is good for 340bhp and comes mated to an eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box. And with 150kg of weight loss over the ear­lier GT, the car was ex­pected to be sprightly, a larger ver­sion of the 5-Se­ries. The car has the BMW Ef­fi­cien­tDy­nam­ics tech­nolo­gies built in and with en­ergy re­cu­per­a­tion and an co-ef­fi­cient of drag as low as 0.25, this is one of the more ef­fi­cient BMWs.

Here is where the 6GT sur­prised us. With air sus­pen­sion stan­dard on the rear axle (2-axle air sus­pen­sion with ac­tive roll sta­bi­liza­tion and dy­namic damper con­trol is op­tional in Europe but may come stan­dard in In­dia) be­ing se­lected to the com­fort mode, the car has a ride qual­ity that would chal­lenge that of even the 7-Se­ries. The en­gine re­sponds en­thu­si­as­ti­cally to the throt­tle and the twinpower turbo does not feel any lag at all but the car even in the sport mode is not rem­i­nis­cent of BMW of yore. Gone is the sporty ma­chine and in comes the glider, very much in keep­ing with the char­ac­ter that the com­pany has tried to build up of this car. What is miss­ing though is the BMW fla­vor of sporti­ness even when the Sport set­ting is se­lected.

On the in­side the car is com­fort­able with all the driver as­sis­tance sys­tems seen on the 5-Se­ries now present on the car. For the rear seat pas­sen­gers, in ad­di­tion to the rear seat en­ter­tain­ment is the elec­tri­cally re­clin­ing rear seat-back. And if that is not all, the rear seat-back is split 40:20:40 and each part can be folded over to in­crease boot space from 610 litres all the way upto 1800 litres.

The 6GT also gets the BMW dis­play key and like with the 7-Se­ries, the 6GT too can be re­motely parked us­ing the dis­play key.

But where the 6GT make a gi­ant leap for­ward is for the au­dio­phile. Not only are two sys­tems avail­able to choose from: a Har­man Kar­don sys­tem with 16 speak­ers as well as an ac­tive 10-chan­nel 16-speaker Bow­ers and Wilkins Di­a­mond Sur­round Sound sys­tem which sounds even bet­ter be­cause of the acous­tic glass be­ing used in the car.

WHAT SUR­PRISED US WAS THAT THE 6GT HAS RIDE QUAL­ITY THAT WOULD CHAL­LENGE THAT OF EVEN THE

7-SE­RIES

1. BMW TwinPower turbo en­gine features a twin­scroll tur­bocharger, di­rect in­je­cion, fully-vari­able valve con­trol and vari­able camshaft tim­ing pro­duc­ing 340bhp of max power and 450Nm of peak torque. 2.

610 litres of boot space can be in­creased to 1,800 litres by fold­ing the rear seat-backs. There is flex­i­bil­ity too with a 40:20:40 split rear seat-back. 3. Frame­less front and rear win­dows. 4. An ac­tive rear spoiler

on the boot-lid can also be de­ployed man­u­ally

Likes

Ride qual­ity, in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, per­for­mance, space & rear seat com­fort, features & equip­ment

Dis­likes

Ground clear­ance, loss of BMW char­ac­ter

All the tech first seen on the 7-Se­ries and the 5-Se­ries finds its way to the 6 GT: 1. Ges­ture con­trol for the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. 2. The M-line comes with the M-badge on the steer­ing wheel. 3. A larger 10.25in cus­tomis­able touch­screen is com­bined with a 70 per cent larger heads-up dis­play. 4. New gen iDrive also

makes its de­but

1 & 2. The rear seat-backs

are re­clin­able and it is easy to ar­rive at a com­fort­able seat po­si­tion at the rear as well. 3 & 4. The sound sys­tem is one

of the key high­lights on the 6 GT. One can choose from ei­ther a Bow­ers & Wilkins Di­a­mond Sur­round

Sound sys­tem fea­tur­ing 16 speak­ers and an out­put of 1400W or a 16 speaker Har­man Kar­don sys­tem

with 600W out­put

Yo­gen­dra Pratap Ed­i­tor yo­gen­dra.pratap@in­to­day.com @Yo­genPratap

VER­DICT

BMW fi­nally seems to have found its feet with its Gran Tur­ismo strat­egy af­ter hav­ing cut its teeth try­ing out the 5GT. The 6GT is all that both the 5 and the 7-Se­ries are and a whole lot more. Not only does it of­fer the cut­ting-edge tech and features BMW just un­veiled on its 5-Se­ries but also the com­fort and languid ease that comes with the 7-Se­ries and is prob­a­bly the only car that can take it to the 7 with its ride qual­ity. Some­what miss­ing is the sporty dy­nam­ics one as­so­ciates with a

BMW but that is nearly all made up by the crisp en­gine and its sporty tone as well as a dy­namic de­sign. There is noth­ing quite like the 6GT in the In­dian mar­ket yet and in a pack­age that is prac­ti­cal to both buy and own.

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