The BMW 6-Series is an expressive family of cars that counts several different body styles--Coupes, Convertibles, and Gran Coupe four-doors. The Coupe and Convertible arrived, fresh from a restyling, in the 2012 model year, while the Gran Coupe was new in 2013, adding its M6 variant this year.
Each one has a confident, luxurious swagger. The overall shape is wider, lower, and more athletic look than BMW's former 6er coupes and convertibles wore, and as a collection, it's a striking set. In profile, the 6-Series cars look hunkered-down and ready for action, but the front and rear end styling can leave you with very different impressions. A tightly creased hood converges into the broad nose, and a version of BMW's distinctive kidney grille gives the 6-Series models a furrowed brow. At the same time, that hood has a slimming effect on the front end.
At the sides, the surfaces are kept simple, with mildly flared fenders and the coupe profile the dominant details, but there's definitely some play between convex and concave sheetmetal, and helps the beltline look low from the few paces back. Large alloy wheels look at home in the Coupe and Gran Coupe models especially. The M6 versions call themselves out in one keen way: the center recess in the roof that calls out its carbon-fiber construction.
Whether you go for the Coupe, Convertible, or Gran Coupe, you get the same hunkered-down look from the back--where the 6-Series models look most like a grand-touring sports car. It can be amped up on non-M cars with the new M Sport edition; for about $5,000, it adds 19-inch wheels, black brake calipers and other dark trim.
Inside, the layout is sport-inflected, but those seeking the intimate, stark, and down-to-business interior of a performance coupe may be surprised to find out that the 6-Series cabin feels like that of a richly appointed luxury car first and foremost. Controls and instrumentation follow a very driver-focused layout, surely, but it's orderly, restrained, and generally low-key in design, with the same more horizontal look that BMW's instrument panels have taken in recent years, with a center console running back. Warm and inviting trims make the cabin feel every bit as plush as a 7-Series in most ways.