The next-generation BMW 6-series and M6 are being given a sharper focus to become proper Porsche rivals when they launch in 2017, the new issue of CAR magazine reveals.
Today’s 6-series - in coupe, cabriolet and Gran Coupe four-door form - are powerful grand tourers that feel more at home on the autobahn than on winding B-roads. But there’s an awareness in Munich that the cars are pretty to look at but overweight, inadequately packaged and relatively soft-edged.
These drawbacks must and will be addressed. See more of this story - and news of the more powerful BMW i8S - in the latest December 2014 issue of CAR magazine. Click here for a free preview.
BMW 6-series (2017): what’s new on G15
Chairman Norbert Reithofer has promised a proper Porsche fighter and a car worthy of the brand’s DTM laurels, CAR hears.
Once again, there will be three different bodystyles from 2017: the 6-series coupe (G15), 6-series cabriolet (G14) and 6-series Gran Coupe (G16).
While the Gran Coupe gets a longer wheelbase for a more spacious interior, the other two 6-series variants will actually come down in size. This will help BMW’s ambitious weight-saving efforts, said to shave about 200 kilos off the grand total.
While the new 640i Coupe will likely tip the scales at around 1560kg, the corresponding soft-top is expected to check out of the calorie counter at 1700 kilos. Hardly a bantamweight, then…
A new architecture for the new 6-series
All future 6-series derivatives are based on an advanced modular architecture which used to be known internally as 35up for 3-series, 5-series and bigger. This matrix has recently been renamed CLAR, which is short for cluster architecture.
The new acronym was chosen to stress the extra flexibility provided by fewer but more versatile submodules (clusters) which are more extensively adjustable in content, size and adaptability.
CLAR also stands for a more advanced material mix which introduces some carbon fibre elements, additional high-strength steel sections, selected magnesium and titanium accents, and a broader variety of aluminium alloys. Result? Lighter weight - and a lower centre of gravity, as the weight can be positioned carefully around the structure.
In combination with shorter overhangs and a wider track, this should make the high-end two-door models notably more agile and inspiring, engineers hope. In addition to air breathers, air curtains and downforce-enhancing front and rear air blades, insiders are predicting an active aero kit which would be standard on the M6 and optional on the rest of the range.
Engines in the new BMW 6-series (2017)
It is clear that the Bavarian Motor Works will continue to put a strong emphasis on the evolution of the legendary straight six, codenamed B57, B58 and S55. Motors already confirmed to CAR include:
BMW 640i 3.0-litre in-line six (B58) 347bhp
BMW 640d 3.0-litre in-line six (B57) 333bhp
BMW 650i 4.4-litre V8 476bhp
BMW M6 4.4-litre V8 bi-turbo 600bhp
Four-wheel drive xDrive models will be offered across the board, but a hybrid is at this point not pencilled in.
Click here for a digital preview of CAR magazine, out now in print and in digital editions.