Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BMW 6-series coupe dressed to thrill

While it's easy to spec-up BMW's 6-series coupe to well beyond the quarter of a million dollar mark if you tick enough boxes like the M-sport option and lists of remarkable sound-systems, wheel choices and lighting alternatives, I hope I don't sound trite when I say it's still good value.

That's because, despite being very much a day-to-day turn-key sports coupe, it has sufficient performance to challenge competitors with another $100,000 to $200,000 on their sticker cards. As well as its obvious segment- mates, like the 'Benz CL ($285,000), Jaguar's XKR-S ($260,000) and the Maserati GranTurismo ($285,000), the 6-series has sufficient style and performance to be seen next to or to be driven with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins costing so much more.

There'll be but a single model of the 6-series Coupe for New Zealand - the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged 650i - rather than the range of sixes and diesels and two and four-wheel-drive drivetrain options enjoyed in its native Europe. Standard gear includes sumptuous Dakota leather, chassis settings you can change with the prod of a console button and a standard sat-nav system that uses a huge fixed screen in the upper dash. The device threatens to dominate the otherwise well-organised and nicely designed cabin. There's an M Sport model which gets some subtle external body styling, special sill-plates and a chromed, Martini-striped M-badge for the bootlid as well as more sporting seats.

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