2008 BMW 6-Series Performance

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Performance

The 2008 BMW 6-Series has stunning performance, especially as a 500-horsepower M6.

The 650i gets its drive from a 360-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed "automatic sports transmission" that offers paddle shifting and a choice of a Sport mode that speeds up gear changes and retunes the car's accelerator and steering for optimal response. With the manual, BMW says the 650i Coupe will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, while the Convertible takes 0.3 second more. Both models are limited to 155 mph.

The 2008 BMW 6-Series has plenty of raw power and technology to aid its performance—though the M6’s SMG transmission needs a rework.

The 2008 BMW 6-Series has a "mellifluous V-8," commends Car and Driver. “Although there's a nice surge of power toward the top of the tachometer, there's plenty of torque available at any rpm,” Edmunds says of the V-8, and calls it "silken and anxious to rev." As if that weren't enough, MyRide.com notes the 4.8-liter engine in the 650i "makes 360 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 360 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm" and it "accelerates the latest BMW to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds." Cars.com states, “The 650i convertible weighs a significant 463 pounds extra — about 12 percent — so it comes in at 5.6 and 5.7 seconds for the manual and automatic, respectively.”

Weight is an issue with the 6-Series. “To keep its weight in check, aluminum is used extensively for the suspension, hood and doors,” Edmunds says. “Thermoplastic front fenders and a composite deck lid do their high-tech best to keep the 6 Series feeling spry, though this is still essentially a 4,000-pound car.”

A high-performance M edition was added to the line for 2006. Like the M5 sedan, it is powered by a V-10 engine that comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission; it can reach 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. The M6 is even more impressive with a "500-horsepower V10," says ConsumerGuide. This screamer “accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds,” Cars.com states. “At start-up, the engine produces a 'comfort-oriented' 400 hp, which is more suitable for urban traffic.” The additional 100 horsepower can be accessed through a special switch. “Hammer the throttle in a 2008 BMW M6 and the car bolts forward,” Edmunds reports.

The 650i model offers the choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, says ConsumerGuide, and the M6s offer the standard "6-speed manual or a 7-speed automated manual transmission." The seven-speed is basically a manual that lacks a clutch. Instead, "gear changes take place via the floorshifter or steering-wheel paddles." Edmunds gripes “performance of SMG transmission is lackluster and inconsistent in automatic mode.”

The BMW 6-Series is nimble and provides "sweet-sounding acceleration," according to Edmunds. Handling remains easy, "thanks to aggressive tires and a well-balanced rear-drive chassis." The BMW 6-Series also has "various stability and traction control systems" that make the car "exceptionally stable on low-adhesion surfaces" and gives this 2008 BMW "nearly neutral handling, although understeer will prevail at the limit," Car and Driver adds. Cars.com explains that with the Active Steering option, “A Sport button behind the shifter quickens accelerator response and decreases power steering assist for more turning precision; both deliver noticeable differences.”

Though these cars are too big-boned to be "sports-car agile," they are sure-footed and "balanced...on highways and byways," says ConsumerGuide. Plus, "braking is strong, stable and straight." The M6 in particular is “as confident as Randy Moss slicing through the Miami Dolphins secondary,” Edmunds crows.

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