Published November 19, 2011

[B][SIZE="5"]Impressive luxury and comfort[/SIZE][/B]

[B]The new BMW 6 Series is less generic sports coupe and more sophisticated grand tourer. By Samuel Ee[/B]

THOSE who thought the old BMW 6 Series Coupe was too chunky to be a true sports car should feel vindicated - the new 6er is now sleeker and sportier, even though it has actually grown in size.

(Above right) A Head Up Display, Internet access and cruise control with braking function are just a few of the standard features of the BMW 640i Coupe[/SIZE]

At 4,894 mm in length, the second-generation 6 Series is 74 mm longer, thanks to the additional 75 mm to its wheelbase extending it to 2,855 mm. The coupe is also 39 mm wider at 1,894, with the increased track not only benefiting its looks but also its dynamic abilities.

In addition to making the new 6 Series bigger, BMW has also made it more luxurious. The two engine variants - the 640i with a classic straight six engine and the 650i with a V8 - are both chock-full of standard equipment.

Visually, the shark nose of the original 6 Series from the 1970s not only makes a comeback on the new coupe, but is also striking for its full complement of LED lamps. There are adaptive LED headlights as well as LED fog lights. Inside, a Head Up Display, Internet access and cruise control with braking function are just a few of the standard features of the BMW 640i Coupe.

Under the bonnet, the 640i has a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels via BMW's familiar eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. That this ZF gearbox is smooth is not in doubt but what's even better is how it obediently downshifts even at high speed.

Also familiar is the Adaptive Drive chassis control system which controls body movement by minimising body roll. The system includes Dynamic Damper Control, which allows the driver to select the type of ride quality desired.

New for the 640i Coupe though is the five driving modes - Eco Pro, Comfort+, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

Comfort replaces the Normal of old, so what's actually novel is Eco Pro for those who want to achieve an efficient driving style. Part of BMW's EfficientDynamics philosophy, the Eco Pro setting can cut fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent just by running the air-con system for maximum efficiency while optimising accelerator pedal and gearbox parameters as well as gear shift points.

[B]Rottweiler puppy[/B]

As with Sport mode, which allows the driver to configure the chassis and drivetrain according to his preferences using the iDrive control system, Eco Pro Tips will also flash on the display for any speed setting above 90 kmh if this option is chosen. Little blue icons remind you to reduce speed or be less leadfooted while highlighting the fuel savings you've eked out.

Together with Brake Energy Regeneration and the Auto Start-Stop function, fuel efficiency can be maximised. But it is likely that few drivers will choose it often, especially when the twin-scroll turbo engine with Valvetronic variable valve control churns out 450 Newton-metres of torque from just 1,500 rpm.

The ability to summon maximum torque so early makes the 640i Coupe as enthusiastic as a Rottweiler puppy despite its rather hefty kerb weight of 1,735 kg. Sport+ mode, in particular, can turn the otherwise genteel Coupe into an aggressive animal.

Recent BMWs have heavier steering that can feel vague at lower speeds and the 640i is no different. But it does get more accurate when going faster, with good feedback in fast curves. Driver confidence is further boosted with the generous grip, courtesy of the widened track, and this big BMW coupe is typically smooth and stable at high speed.

Overall, it impresses for its luxury and comfort. It is less generic sports coupe and more sophisticated grand tourer and for this, the 640i shines.

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BMW 640i Coupé

Engine 2,979cc inline-6 turbocharged
Gearbox 8-speed Steptronic transmission
Max power 320 hp @ 5,800- 6,000 rpm
Max torque 450 Nm @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
0-100 kmh 5.4 secs
Top speed 250 kmh
Price $355,800 (with COE)
Distributor Performance Motors
Tel: 6319-0100