It's fortunate for BMW that directly comparable luxury coupes in the £60,000 to £70,000 sector are few and far between. Even if that wasn't the case though, this one would still be a strong contender. Bigger, faster and sleeker than before, makes a strong case for being the most desirable large coupe the Bavarian brand has ever made and a car you could comfortably choose over a comparable Jaguar, Mercedes or even a Maserati.
This 3rd generation model is much easier on the eye. Longer, lower and wider, it's larger in every dimension than the model it replaces, the only exception being height: it sits half a cm lower to the ground. Yet despite the extra bulk, designer Nader Faghihzadeh has still managed to create a lithe, agile look from the long sweeping aluminium bonnet with its distinctive 'shark nose' past the frameless doors and on through to the muscular wheelarches. At the rear, BMW aficionados will recognise the V8 650i by its switch from these circular tailpipes to trapezoidal-shaped ones.
No, it isn't an out-and-out sportscar. It isn't designed to be. But carefully specified and with all the correct electronic gadgetry switched on, you'll be surprised by just how agile this coupe is for something of its size. The old '6' would take you comfortably from London at lunchtime to Nice at night. This one will do that too, but the difference now is that you might also want to take in a few Alpine passes en route. The 'Ultimate Driving Machine'? It depends upon your driving priorities. Many target buyers though, will think this car to be exactly that.
A 6 Series Coupe will cost you around £6,000 less than its Convertible stablemate. That means a price span for mainstream models in the £60,000 to £70,000 bracket, depending upon the model you select and the option boxes you tick. All cars in this segment are automatic – in this case an 8-speed Steptronic transmission – and BMW includes its Drive Dynamic Control system in the package to adjust steering, transmission and throttle response to your needs.
For a start, most will want the Adaptive Drive system which, for around £3,500 adjusts the suspension set-up. And I could have gone even further by ticking the box for 'Integral Active Steering', a package which includes four-wheel steer for sharper cornering turn-in and a more direct variable ratio steering system.
You might also want to consider the Adaptive LED Headlights which emit a cool white light turning night into day as you drive.
From then on, the sky's the limit – in-car email display via Bluetooth, Night Vision to help you pick out pedestrians and objects at night and the usual systems designed to stop drowsy highway drivers from unintentionally changing lanes and prevent others from dangerously pulling out to overtake when there's a car in the blind spot behind them.