New BMW 6 Series 2015 review
Revised coupe impresses on the road, but the 650i is expensive
Slightly more polished after a mild update, the 6 Series is a truly impressive coupé. This 650i is a blisteringly quick, effortless cruiser, but the 4.4-litre V8 doesn’t best fit where the car is designed to thrive. We love its noise and potency, but common-sense points you in the direction of the more flexible 640d Coupé instead.
There aren’t many other models in BMW’s product portfolio you can spend over £75,000 on and come away without the full-fat M division treatment, but the revised 650i Coupe is one of them.
Beneath the minimal refresh – note only nine bars in each kidney grille rather than 10, the reshaped front bumper and LED headlamps – sits the same basic 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 and sonorous exhaust note from the M6 Coupe.
Provoke it and you’re in for some serious supercar-baiting performance. It may be over 100bhp down on the M6 with 444bhp, but the torque figure is almost identical so pushing the throttle from low revs will see the nose rise and the horizon dragged towards you at alarming pace.
Where the 6 Series' bulk is apparent is in corners. It manages fast bends well enough and keeps surprisingly flat, but it feels ungainly threading it through turns which demand quicker changes in direction. The steering has a solid weight to it, yet it doesn’t relay much information back to the driver.
Where the 650i really excels is as a cruiser. Flick the fantastic eight-speed automatic gearbox into auto, set the adjustable dampers to comfort and you can waft along peacefully and at pace. The ride doesn’t have the pillowy softness to it that you’d expect from a big GT car, fidgeting slightly over expansion joints and jagged tarmac, but it’s still very compliant.
Yet, this is where the argument for the 650i begins to fall apart. If you plan to use the 6 Series where it feels at home, the cheaper, more efficient and equally brisk 640d does an impressive job. It has a really exploitable slug of low-down torque and will return over 54mpg, where the 650i claims only 32.9mpg – on test we only got 17mpg.
Whatever engine you opt for, you get a lavishly trimmed cabin. Our range-topping M Sport model was kitted out with a sports steering wheel, digital dials, high gloss plastics and lashings of leather on the curvaceous dash and centre console.
Glance over your shoulder and you’ll also notice a pair of rear seats. However, they’re nothing more than a token gesture and only really suitable for small children, as headroom is severely restricted due to the coupe body.