Finally, we've gotten a glimpse at the new 6-Series Coupe. Not the Gran Coupe nor the Gran Turismo, but the actual, factual, second-gen new 6-Series. Although it's technically called a concept, you know what we're dealing with. This is supposed to be BMW's big GT, but when picturing it on the street next to a Maserati GranTurismo for example, the car just doesn't impress on a major scale. It's not all bad, though.
The exterior is very expected, and thus bland. "Bland" because the 6-Series is a car you buy for its outward appearance as well as interior finish, and the appearance just isn't "chic" enough to fit the bill. That's not to say it doesn't look good, but its face could have been more "well-tailored prom king" and less "plain Jane at locker 47" (fingers crossed for the M6). Considering the 6-Series' target consumer has a high-school mentality, its pretty but average exterior might hurt it in the long run.
The nose is where it really loses points for me; it's just too busy and simple at the same time. The rest of the exterior, though, is quite a nice evolution. That flare that drops from the front fenders into the rockers is very attractive and does a good job of adding depth to an otherwise 2D surface (character line or no). At the rear, the 6-Series' tail - with its snazzy wraparound lights - succeeds nicely in evolving away from the Bangle butt and blends nicely with the rest of the car (and lineup).
As previously mentioned, both interior and exterior styling are equally important in this segment, making the new 6-Series slightly unbalanced. How so? While the exterior is pretty but beige, the interior is jaw-droppingly stunning.
Under the glass roof, the 6-Series' concept's interior is an eyes-wide event. Its layout is driver-centric and appears to be tailored for a king, all while screaming at you with B&O speakers.
Lines cross at obscure points and the materials are interestingly fitted in order to make the inner realm of BMW's GT a time consumer to look at (in a good way). It simply takes a while to fully absorb all the details and it's delightful.
Set to fill the gap of between the 5- and 7-Series, this car is almost exactly as expected and thus a tad disappointing from a passer-by's standpoint. To debut this at Paris, a show viewed as the models' runway of the automotive world (i.e. the outside is what everyone sees first and judges...harshly), indicates that BMW may truly be running into a design dead-end.
If that's the case, BMW's "dontblogaboutthis" car had better be a fan-friggin-tastic techno tour de force because the next 6-Series is shaping up to be a vehicle where it's only what's on the inside that counts. As always, sales will tell the story, and facelifts are always there should the need arise.
By Phil Alex