2013 BMW 6-Series Performance

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Performance

The 6-Series doesn't exist to record the lowest lap times or to preserve the brand's pure-bred sports-car heritage. It's a beefy, big grand tourer devoted to devouring interstates and autobahns, without losing the limber feel that lends itself to tackling tightly convoluted roads.

The 6-Series comes as either a 640i or a 650i, in convertible and coupe body styles. The 640i sports a 3.0-liter turbo-6 that builds 315 hp, while 650i cars bear a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine V-8 is the better fit to the 6-Series' relaxed sense of strength. It emits smooth, easy power, and sounds and feels more laid-back than the harder-working turbo-6.

The 6-Series is athletic, but it's the polar opposite of a light-weight sports car, instead devouring highway miles and high-speed sweepers.

Confident handling with good highway tracking defines any 6-Series. It's possible to push them as you'd push a small car around a corner, and they cruise without much effort at 100 mph. We wish the steering had more feedback and more natural weighting in corners. It's taken BMW longer to find its way to truly good electric power steering than it's taken other makes.

BMW fits every 6-Series with Driving Dynamics Control. It's the godhead that controls and fine-tunes shift patterns, throttle uptake, suspension damping, and stability control intervention. Drivers can pick from Sport+ to Comfor modes, depending on the road ahead and the passengers' tolerance for shenanigans. The system gives the car a really wide range of talents, from absorbent highway cruiser to tensed-up track-weekend runner.

An 8-speed automatic is standard on the 640i and 650i. It shifts seamlessly and smoothly, rising to the task of aggressive driving very well. A 6-speed manual is a zero-cost option, but it's available on rear-drive V-8 cars only. You can also order all-wheel drive on 650i Coupe or Convertible models (only with automatic); it's one of the few all-wheel-drive convertibles for sale.

The current M6 arrived in 2012 as a Convertible and in 2013, it's now offered as a Coupe. It drops the thirsty old V-10 for a 560-hp twin-turbo V-8, coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox with lightning-fast shifts. That's matched with an M-tuned suspension, special sport seats, upgraded brakes, and M Drive software control over steering, suspension, powertrain, and stability control. BMW fits the M with two preset buttons so drivers can program a set of driving favorites, and engage at the flick of a button.

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