- New take from BMW on the classic fastback
- Two engine choice for now – petrol or diesel?
- More high-tech, driving assistance
PRETORIA, Gauteng – BMW SA is presenting what it describes as “an extensively updated successor to one of the most creative vehicle concepts of recent years” -which the automaker says blends the long-distance comfort of a luxury sedan with coupe style.
The car’s 5 Series predecessor is also said by BMW to be the founder of the genre which once-upon-a-time described as a “fastback” yet was well represented – if perhaps not quite so elegantly – in South Africa back in the 1970’s by the Ford Granada Coupe (see below).
Ian Robertson, BMW board member for the brand and its sales, told The Corner in a media communication: “The 6 Series Gran Turismo (GT) packages a combination of luxury and flexible practicality in a truly elegant design.
“With its dynamic driving characteristics this car is an outstanding vehicle which enhances the upper end of the BMW range.”
The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo had its public debut at the September 2017 Frankfurt auto show (read more show features here). The market launch is under way (November 2017) with a choice of one petrol (640i xDrive) and one diesel (630d) – xDrive being BMW’s synonym for all-wheel drive.
The cars, depending on engine and extras, are said to have shed about 150kg from their parents thanks to greater use of aluminium and new steels for the shell and chassis.
“Considerable aero improvements, more-powerful and more-efficient engines,” BMW’s media release says, “the cars have sportier performance but are more fuel-efficient by as much as 15%, depending on model.”
ADAPTIVE SUSPENSION CHOICE
Handling dynamics and driving comfort “have reaped benefits through extensive improvements to chassis technology” with self-levelling air suspension (which can also raise the car by two cm for a rough road or parking ramp or drop it by one cm at speed).
And that can be improved by adaptive suspension (front and rear) if ticked on a buyers order ‘(BMW loves ‘extras’ – Ed).
Also tickable is Executive Drive (BMW caps) option which includes self-adjusting steering and with the Integral Active Steering system and also includes active roll stabilisation – it reduces excessive lean through curves.
LONGER AND LOWER
The cars are just under nine cm longer than their predecessor at a whisker over five metres, the same width at 1.9m but two lower – whether that reduces headroom is not specified in the media notes – and the wheelbase is listed a 3.07m.
The windows are frameless (to accommodate the requirement of convertible models). The headlights use diodes, the tails have three-dimensional styling – the styling reducing the drag co-efficient from 0.29 to 0.25, thanks in part to an air flap, an automatic rear spoiler and air curtains.
The interior is driver-focused cockpit with a raised seat and “a faultlessly ergonomic arrangement of the controls”. The has rear three “full-size” seats (power adjustment another option) with what BMW calls a flatter roof line to create headroom.
The car’s powered hatch gives access to a boot that is, at 610 litres, 110 more spacious than the previous model. The access sill is now flush with the boot floor. Extra space is – taking the volume to 1800 litres – available by (also powered) dropping the 40-20-40 rear seats and the rigid parcel shelf can be stowed under the boot floor.
The line-up of engines available for the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo feature cutting-edge TwinPower Turbo technology and team up with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission as standard.
The three-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine is capable of 250kW/450Nm and can haul to 100km/h in 5.3sec. The diesel, same arrangement, makes 195kW and a much handier 620Nm while using around a litre/100km less fuel yet is capable of a 6.1sec 0-100.
The cars, BMW says, have a facia display and control system that “has unrivalled versatility for driving, navigation, communication and infotainment with, at its heart, the iDrive system, complete with a touch Controller on the centre console.
The control display is now a free-standing touchscreen: the high-resolution display has a screen diagonal of 26cm with a tiled menu layout and animated graphics – or voice/gesture control can be used. A head-up display is an option.
Standard are stereo cameras, optional are radar and ultrasonic sensors to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings. Further options include auto cruise-control (with stop/go operational up to 210 km/h, and lane-departure control in preparation for autonomous control), and self-parking.
Real Time Traffic Information will indicate traffic congestion; Remote 3D View means the owner or driver to view live images of their car and its immediate vicinity on a smartphone.