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2012 BMW 6-series coupe revealed in production trim

Sat, 12 Mar 2011

Following an initial preview in a lightly veiled concept car shown at the Paris motor show, BMW has finally revealed the definitive production version of the 6-series coupe.

Set to get its first public airing at the Shanghai motor show in April, the upmarket coupe is planned to follow the 6-series convertible into North American showrooms later this year, providing BMW with a contemporary two-door to rival the Jaguar XK and the Mercedes-Benz E-class coupe.

The BMW was shown by AutoWeek this fall (“Sexy 6-Series,” AW, Oct. 11, 2010).

Pricing has yet to be announced, but like its open-top sibling, the 2012 6-series coupe initially will come to the U.S. market with just one turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine: a 4.4-liter V8 packing 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque in the 650i--a substantial increase over the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 used in its predecessor launched in 2004.

As with the 650i convertible recently driven by AutoWeek, the rear-wheel-drive 650i coupe receives a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. The sprint to 62 mph is 4.9 seconds, with a limited 155-mph top speed.

Other gasoline-engine options are offered in European versions of the new 6-series coupe, including a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder developing 316 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque in the 640i. It is being considered for U.S. sale, although the initial focus will be on the more performance-orientated 650i, according to BMW North America officials.

Also under development, but not slated to go on sale in North America until late 2012, is a successor to the storming M6 coupe. It eschews the 5.0-liter V10 engine of the outgoing model for a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 mill that BMW insiders hint is good for about 550 hp and more than 500 lb-ft of torque.

Less bullish in appearance than its predecessor, the 6-series coupe adopts the same tautly surfaced styling treatment as the 6-series convertible, alongside which it will be built in Germany.

By Greg Kable