Monday, June 1, 2009

2009 BMW 6-Series

. Monday, June 1, 2009

BMW Vehicles

For more than eight decades, BMW has built vehicles that are uncompromising, authentic and exhilarating to drive. As an independent company, BMW has the freedom to stand by the leading-edge concepts of their engineers and designers and protect unconventional thinking. It’s what transforms great ideas into ultimate driving machines.

2009 BMW 6-Series

The BMW 6-Series coupe is essentially an upscale two-door bodystyle with two-plus-two seating built on the 5-Series chassis. Powered by a 360 horsepower BMW 4.8-liter V8, with three choices of transmission, it offers BMW's traditionally excellent handling performance and driving satisfaction, with luxury interior appointments and an extensive list of high-technology innovations.

The V8 engine is the only one available on the 6-Series. With 360 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque, the car is capable of sub-six-second zero to 60 performance, faster than the Z4 roadster. A stop-start system is available, which shuts down the engine at stop lights, reducing emissions and improving mileage above the typical 19 miles per gallon.

BMW's new six-gear sequential manual gearbox is standard, with electronic clutch operation and gear selection in what is essentially a manual gear box. Reviewers have not been complimentary of the performance of this first-generation innovation, finding its gear selection choppy in normal driving. The optional six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission will better suit most drivers, and a six-speed manual transmission is also available.

The styling of the 6-Series, new in 2006 and given a face-lift for 2008, is thought by many to be the best in the BMW line-up. The smooth coupe lines make the rear-end styling look much more graceful than on the sedans, though it has been pointed out that if the rear trunk projection were removed, in silhouette the car would look very much like a Porsche.

On the interior, space in the front seats is reasonable and the supportive sports seats are a good choice for spirited driving. The rear seats, though quite comfortable, are fairly limited for taller adults. Trunk space is about average for mid-sized coupes and sedans, but the rear seats do fold down to form a carpetted shelf for luggage for a long trip.

Most luxury features are standard on the 6 series, including leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, eight-speaker audio system, auto-dimming mirrors, xenon adaptive headlamps, and moonroof. The optional Sport Package upgrades the seats, wheels and tires for the more performance-oriented owner. Cutting-edge options include BMW's innovative heads-up windshield display, radar-managed cruise control, a night-vision screen, navigation, satellite and high-definition radio, and heated front seats.

An important aspect of all this technology is that everything, from audio to ventilation is controlled by the single-knob BMW iDrive system. Opinions differ widely on this system, even with recent improvements. Younger, more computer-savvy, reviewers find no problem mastering the system, while more traditional critics complain about the five or six separate actions required to do a simple task like change a radio channel.

As with all other BMWs in the current line-up, safety features are extensive, including multi-stage front airbags, front-seat mounted side-impact airbags, curtain-style head protection, ABS with brake assist and brake-force distribution, tire-pressure monitors, BMW's Assist telematics system with automatic collision notification and SOS button. and the fully-equipped first-aid kit that has always been packed in BMW trunks.

2008 Update

The updated grand tourer now features active headrests, which provide protection against whiplash. BMW has also added LED front turn signals and replaced all taillights and tail turn signals with LED units.

As is typical for a mid-cycle update, the 2008 model has updated rear and front bumpers. The additional brake light is now integrated in the spoiler lip. A variety of new wheels designs and interior colors/materials are available.

Leather upholstery can now be ordered with SunReflective Technology in the convertible version. This feature reduces overheating of the seat surfaces when the car is open, providing a difference in temperatures compared with conventional leather of up to 36 °F in the case of dark colors.