There's more to the latest BMW 6 Series than its Coupe body. The convertible model hit showrooms in time to enjoy the summer, but with winter just around the corner it’s the turn of the tin-top to take the limelight. Its arrival also marks the introduction of a brand new diesel engine and M Sport trim. So is the new 640d Coupe the 6 Series of choice?
The statistics suggest it will be. BMW sold 14,000 examples of the old model in the UK and if its sales figures are anything to go by, this combination is set to be most popular. Take one look at the exterior of the Coupe and its long nose, short overhangs and flared wheelarches are all familiar from the convertible, but the coupe roofline give this model a sportier profile.
Our test car featured optional £1,665 LED headlamps (a first for BMW), and M Sport trim includes dark chrome exterior trim, black brake callipers, smart 19-inch alloys and aerodynamic bodystyling. On the inside, the £4,665 premium over SE models adds aluminium trim, a multi-function leather steering wheel, supportive sports seats and a moody anthracite headlining.
The rest of the cabin is carried over from the Convertible, so you get high quality trim, a rotary iDrive controller on the centre console and a no-nonsense layout that is dominated by a 10.2-inch display for the standard sat-nav. The driving position is excellent, although the thick A-pillar creates large blindspots.
Look over your shoulder you’ll see a pair of individual rear seats, and they’re not just for decoration. They provide enough space for children to sit in relative comfort and even tall adults will be happy to complete short trips in the back, which simply isn’t possible in its Jaguar XK and Mercedes SL rivals. Not that the 640d has any direct competitors, as none of its peers come with the option of diesel power.
The new 3.0-litre cylinder engine is a masterpiece and features a pair of sequential turbochargers; a small one for low down punch and a larger one for extra shove at higher revs. They combine seamlessly to produce a linear surge of acceleration, and it even sounds the part thanks to its gruff snarl.
Its hefty 630Nm of torque is directed to the rear wheels through a smooth shifting eight-speed gearbox, which does wonders for performance and economy; 0-60mph takes a blistering 5.5 seconds yet the official figures suggest the 640d should hit more than 50mpg. The latter ensures a range of more than 500 miles and the car’s relaxed pace and excellent refinement make it a fine long distance tourer.
The chassis is capable, too, and the 6 Series feels incredibly secure. The steering, throttle and brakes are all perfectly judged and precise while its composure at high-speed is impressive, although, admittedly our test car was fitted with the optional Adaptive Drive chassis upgrade. This adds a scary £3,400 to the price but includes variable dampers and an extra Comfort+ mode to add to the standard Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings.
All 6 Series models also feature a new ECO PRO mode, which optimises features like the climate control and heated door mirrors, as well as the throttle and gearbox responses, to improve economy. It’s all enough to make you wonder about the need for a petrol 6 Series at all…