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2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo: Not Some Video Game

BMW just rolled out the all-new 6 Series Gran Turismo, and no, it has nothing to do with the PlayStation game. Well, not much anyway. It’ll probably end up in some future iteration of the game, but for now, BMW’s 6 Series Gran Turismo is only available in the real world with no reset button.

Lots of car makers throw around the phrase “all-new,” but in the case of BMW’s 6 Series Gran Turismo, it’s accurate. The 6 Series Gran Turismo aims to fill a niche the first gen 6 Series filled.

Position Player

Namely, that spot in the BMW lineup which is neither sports car or sedan, nor a coupe with sporting pretensions like Audi’s 5 Series. The 6 Series Gran Turismo is a big, long distance tourer, not a sports car. The 6 Series Gran Turismo has more sporting style and on road presence than a mundane sedan, hence why the 6 Series Gran Turismo is halfway between both of those automotive ideals.

The 6 Series Gran Turismo is the ride you get if you’re the just signed NBA all star. It’s your car if you are the plastic surgeon in town. Who’s the top real estate broker on the West Side? It’s you baby! And you drive a 6 Series Gran Turismo. Or at least BMW wants you to think so. However, the 6 Series Gran Turismo isn’t a sports car. Those kind of confuse you. And it’s not a sedan, cause those are too stodgy for the NBA all star/plastic surgeon/top real estate broker on the West Side sort of crowd. Nope. The 6 Series Gran Turismo is all about style and presence and, sure, there’s performance thrown in, because, well, this is a BMW.

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When viewed from the side, the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo really shows its elongated proportions. Notice a single crease in the upper section of the side sends light directly to this area of the body. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Style Wonders or Blunders?

The Bavarians say the 6 Series Gran Turismo has “unparalleled progressive appeal and practicality.” The market will say whether that’s true or not, but that’s what BMW is going for, and that’s what they state from the outset. They say it has a “sense of sporting elegance.” They say it’s graced by a “generously-sized, flexible-use interior, striking looks, ride comfort, and a luxurious and spacious feel,” all of which is true, I guess.

BMW also says the 6 Series Gran Turismo has “stretched proportions, dynamic lines, and a muscular look.” Which is also true, but is also subjective. The consensus is the reason the last 6 Series is no longer on the road is because of its alleged stretched proportions, dynamic lines, and muscular look. Let’s face it, BMW fell off the styling wagon when they hired Chris Bangle, and they have been struggling to get back on ever since they fired Chris Bangle. The 6 Series Gran Turismo might be a styling success, but at this point, I’d say toss a coin, because BMW has burned a lot of bridges in that department.

However, the 6 Series Gran Turismo does have all of the traditional BMW styling bits and pieces present. It has the signature “Hofmeister kink” of BMW coupes of the past. It has the BMW twin-kidney grill up front. The whole design vibe is one of long, wide, and low, sort of like what Pontiac was advertising in the 1960s (did I just say that?!).

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BMW increased the use of aluminum and high-strength steels for the body and chassis components. The doors, trunk, and tailgate are made from aluminum. The engine cross-member, spring struts, and rear trailing arms are among the chassis components made from lightweight metal. A steel/aluminum compound construction, galvanized hot and cold-formed steel plates with a zinc/magnesium coating are all used to improve stiffness, passive safety, and reduce weight. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Special Treatments

The 6 Series Gran Turismo comes in two basic trim levels: The Sport design, which is standard, and the optional Luxury Package. The Sport design emphasizes the car’s more dynamic elements with such niceties as high-gloss black, 19-inch V-Spoke light-alloy wheels, chrome window surrounds, standard Sport Seats with power adjustable side bolsters, an Anthracite headliner, and a SensaTec upholstered dashboard on the inside.

The Luxury Package boosts the car’s elegant character with chrome kidney grille bars, front and rear bumper trim finishers, and power adjustments for the rear seat.

M Sport Enhancements

On top of all that, there’s an M Sport Package. Now, this is not to be confused with a full-blown M version of the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo; this is design oriented and emphasizes “sporty character.” There’s an M Aerodynamic kit with larger air intakes, side skirt trim, and diffusor-style rear apron. Shadowline exterior trim and 19-inch (or 20-inch) M Double-Spoke Wheels are available as an upgrade. The interior of the M Sport variant includes a leather steering wheel, aluminum pedals, and exclusive floor mats. There’s Black Dakota Leather with contrast blue stitching and piping. You can also add the optional Dynamic Handling Package with Integral Active Steering, the Adaptive Drive two axle air suspension, Active Roll Stabilization, and Dynamic Damper Control.

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Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Power & Performance

Speaking of running gear, there’s lots of tech, and I mean by the boat load, shoveled into the 6 Series Gran Turismo. The 6-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine is paired with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with shift paddles. The aerodynamics have been fully optimized, and the whole shebang features weight-saving construction aimed at making the big BMW coupe a sporting performer with a high level of efficiency.

That engine features an aluminum construction with enhanced thermodynamics. The turbos are of a TwinScroll design, the fuel is delivered via direct injection, there’s BMW’s VALVETRONIC variable valve lift control, and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. There’s even new engine encapsulation to reduce noise and accelerate warm-up. The 3.0-liter 6-cylinder plant generates 335 horsepower with a peak torque of 332 lb-ft. between 1,380 and 5,200 rpm.  0-60 mph? 5.1 seconds. Which is good, given this thing must weigh at least two tons (BMW does not give a weight figure).

The adaptive suspension with Dynamic Damper Control and Active Roll Stabilization are there to deliver ride comfort and sporty performance. There’s a two-axle air suspension system with electronically controlled dampers. Owners can set the car’s ride height manually with ground clearance being raised by 0.78 inches at the touch of a button. A 0.39 inch drop in ride height happens automatically at speeds over 75 mph.

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The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo is the first BMW with standard Active Driving Assistant. The technology features a multitude of driver assist functions through the use of cameras, radars, and ultrasonic sensors that monitor the vehicle’s surroundings. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Tech Extravaganza

The entire rest of the car is drowning in tech goodies too: for example, the iDrive systems and Touch Controllers and Control Displays and large touchscreens, and other computer controlled tech gee-gaws. I wouldn’t be surprised if you can choose the color of the LED glove box light from your smartphone, and Lord help you when any of that stuff breaks and you’ve got to fix it.

No, it’s not a traditional BMW sedan. And no, a big no, it’s not a sports car. Yet, it will probably fill the garages of the NBA all star/plastic surgeon/ top real estate broker on the West Side sort of crowd. The all-new 2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, available exclusively as a 640i xDrive model, will be available this fall starting at $69,700 plus $995 for destination.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Gallery

Photos & Source: BMW of North America, LLC.

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