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BMW 6 Series

E63 6 Series MkII

1 Jan 2008

BMW released an update for its large luxury 6 Series coupe and convertible, the second since its release here three years ago.

This time, the 6 Series has a new automatic transmission, active head restraints and headlight and cosmetic improvements to account for the $8000 price rise.

The changes are focussed on the 650i Coupe and Convertible, although the M6 Coupe and Convertible also benefit from some of the updates.

The 4.8-litre V8, with outputs of 270kW at 6300rpm and 490Nm at 3400rpm, continues on unchanged from its introduction in early 2006.

The principal change is the transmission, with what BMW now calls a Sport Automatic transmission. This will now be the only gearbox offered for 650i Coupe and Convertible (the M6 continuing with its automated seven-speed SMG manual), superseding both the prior six-speed automatic and manual.

The automatic now incorporates steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, which can be activated by selecting sport mode on the gearlever or by using the paddles in Drive to temporarily engage manual mode (after a short period the transmission reverts to fully automatic mode.)A new safety feature across the 6 Series range is active front head restraints, which reduce the whiplash that can occur as a result of rear-end collisions.

Cruise control with brake function is now standard, as is keyless entry and start, soft-close doors, and a USB/audio interface connector in the centre console. It requires an optional $100 connector to permit the car’s system to be used to control iPod music changes.

With the exception of the transmission (the V10 and seven-speed SMG drivetrain continues unchanged) the bodykit (M6 has unique body enhancements) and the cruise control with brake function, the BMW M6 also receives the 2008 upgrades.

The 2008 6 Series has new front lights and lower bumper design incorporating new foglights. There are new headlight surrounds for the bi-Xenon headlights and the white LED indicators sitting above.

At the rear, the valance-mounted rear reflectors are new, as are the tail-lights, which now feature LED lights. The boot is also new, with a new rear contour design.

Alloy wheels have also been restyled, the standard 18-inch double-spoke wheels fitted with BMW’s controversial run-flat 245/45 R18 tyres at the front and 275/40 R18s at the rear.

In late 2009 BMW released new efficiency measures in the 650i Coupe and Convertible.

While there were no changes to the outputs of the 4.8-litre Valvetronic V8 petrol powerplant, the bonnet above scored arrow-shaped character lines.

There was also a revised exhaust system, and new 19-inch alloy wheels, but the biggest news was the adoption of BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system from BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology catalogue.

This cuts combined-cycle fuel consumption by more than five per cent on both the Coupe and Convertible.

By generating electric power from energy otherwise wasted as lost heat via the brake system, the fuel consumption drops by up to almost seven per cent.

Cabin titivations included the fitment of BMW’s next-generation iDrive control system from the F01 7 Series range, which introduced a high-resolution monitor with navigation, high-definition television and 80GB hard drive.

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