BMW 6-series Gran Coupe (2012) spied at the 'Ring

Published: 16 September 2011

Further proof the executive classes are fragmenting: our spies have just caught the new 2012 BMW 6-series Gran Coupe on test at the Nurburgring in Germany.

It's the production iteration of 2010's Gran Coupe concept car - a four-door coupe take on the 6-series. Some people round these parts even call it a coupaloon.

BMW 6-series Gran Coupe: the lowdown

BMW is expected to show the new 6-series at the Geneva motor show in 2012, with sales starting that summer/autumn.

It's Munich's answer to the Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS. Which shows you how splintered the car market has become: the 6-series uses many mechanical modules from the 5-series saloon, but wrapped in a two-door body.

So the new 6-series Gran Coupe started life as a sedan, before transforming into a coupe, only to have a saloon transplant. Confusing, eh?

Under the bonnet

Unsurprisingly, the four-door 6-series will be based heavily on the 6-series coupe and convertible family.

That points to a 640i (3.0-litre straight six petrol) and 650i (4.4-litre V8 petrol), but we hear a diesel engine is a shoe-in.

The 6-series Gran Coupe is nearly 5m long but just 1400mm tall; for reference, that's 10cm lower than a 5- or 7-series saloon.

You won't buy one of these for headroom; it'll appeal to those who want swooping coupaloon style, with space for occasional rear passengers.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet