2018 BMW 6-series Gran Turismo Revealed: 5 Grows into 6 – Car and Driver

If you’ve wondered why the successor to the BMW 6-series will be called the 8-series, even though it will be virtually identical in size, it’s because of this car: the 6-series Gran Turismo, which is moving up from its previous 5-series designation and taking on the number that once denoted BMW’s sexiest coupes.

Despite the number change, BMW’s big hatchback is positioned in the same niche and has exactly the same wheelbase as its predecessor. The proportions, however, have been tweaked to some effect. The new model is 3.8 inches longer and 1.0 inch lower than the outgoing model, while width is virtually identical. That’s not a huge difference, yet the new car is a bit more pleasing to the eye than the ungainly 5-series GT. Sure, the Hofmeister kink is twisted beyond recognition, and we can’t for the life of us draw a connection to really any 6-series in history, but we don’t see many people who believe the Tesla Model X is beautiful having a beef with this Bimmer.

Some of the predecessor’s noted quirks have disappeared. The space-consuming partition between the rear seats and the trunk is gone; it was there to isolate the cabin from the opened hatchback, but BMW has figured out that the rear seats will do just fine isolating the cabin. And the complex liftgate, which could be opened in its entirety or by a separate trunklid aft of the rear window, is scrapped in favor of a simple one-piece hatch. The previous system, in BMW’s words, allowed trunk access “without disturbing the rear passengers.” We think the kids and any chauffeured adults will be able to cope with the one-piece liftgate just fine.

Especially since the driver may be in a far better mood. For the European model, BMW claims the new car is lighter than the outgoing model by an average of 330 pounds, which should translate into superior performance both in a straight line and on twisty back roads.

In the U.S. market, we only get the 640i Gran Turismo xDrive, which means it’s equipped with BMW’s turbocharged B58 3.0-liter inline-six, rated at 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, and all-wheel drive. Unsurprisingly, there is just one transmission: the ubiquitous ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic. The stated zero-to-60-mph time is an energetic 5.1 seconds; fuel-economy figures, however, are not yet available.

Entered through generously sized doors with frameless windows, the interior is spacious and well-equipped, and it looks particularly good with the ivory white seats, one of three optional nappa leather colors (other dakota leather colors are available as standard). The conservatively styled dashboard comes straight from the 5-series sedan. And there is a cavernous trunk, capable of holding between 31 and 65 cubic feet of stuff. Like all of BMW’s Gran Turismo models, the 6-series GT boasts a raised seating position, the downside of which is a raised center of gravity, a detriment to handling.

The appearance inside and out can be tailored with different trim levels. The standard model is dubbed Sport, but there’s also a Luxury trim and an M Sport package—which is as close as this car will get to an actual M model.

One 6-series tenet to which this model will hold dear is in commanding a significant premium over the 5-series on which it’s based. It will roll into dealerships this fall with a starting price of $70,695, $10,950 more than a 540i xDrive sedan and $6500 over the outgoing 535i xDrive Gran Turismo. But the Gran Turismo is not a 5 anymore—it’s a 6, so it must be worth more.

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