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CARNOISSEUR six appeal BMW'S MUSCULAR NEW 6 SERIES COUPÉS ARE SMOOTH AS SINGLE-MALT SCOTCH. BY ARTHUR ST. ANTOINE G aze upon the automobile pictured here, and you'll recognize all the ele- ments for which BMW's 6 Series luxury-sport coupé is renowned: flowing hood, rakish roofline, muscular wheel arches. However, this familiar Deutsche treat is completely new: longer, lower, and wider than the first-generation model it replaces, with stylistic revisions to the grille, beltline, and rear deck. BMW now also offers the optional xDrive Intelligent All-wheel Drive system and, most significant, an all-new hardtop model with not two but four doors, the stunning 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé. One of the most memorable models in the BMW stable, the 6 series is now in its third generation. After the angular first car, introduced in 1976, BMW two rear-seat adults (three in a pinch), while subtracting none of the 6 Series' famed style and performance. The payoff: almost five inches of rear-seat legroom. The 640i Gran Coupé hits US dealerships in early summer. The new four-door joins a hugely successful BMW lineup. Aaron Allsopp, sales manager at Herb Chambers BMW in Boston, notes that BMW was the number-one US luxury brand last year and that with financial troubles plaguing another popular New England brand—Saab—many buyers are turning to the maker with the blue and white propeller logo on the hood. You pay for such indulgence, of course. Including the destination and handling fee, the BMW 640i Coupé starts at $73,600, the BMW 640i Gran Coupé opens at $76,895, and the well-optioned BMW 650i xDrive Convertible totals a cool $93,500. Chalk it up to the cost of making a guar- shifted to a radically different, softer shape for generation two (which bowed out in 2003). The much-admired, bullet-like shape gained a following— which explains why BMW opted for only a minor visual freshening for the new, third-generation 6 Series (unveiled last year). Under the hood, the new 640i models—Coupé, Convertible, and four- door Gran Coupé—romp with a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that's good for 315 horsepower. Need even more kick? The new 650i Coupé and Convertible models flaunt a magnificent, twin- turbo 4.4-liter V-8 making a thunderous 400 horsepower. (A 650i Gran Coupé, also with available xDrive, arrives this fall.) Each car in the new 6 Series is a heavy beast, but you'd never know it from behind the wheel, as a few days piloting a 650i xDrive Convertible proved. 130 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM anteed entrance wherever you go. BC Under full throttle, the 650i blazes like a purebred sports car. (BMW attests that V-8 Coupé models can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.7 to 4.9 seconds.) The eight-speed automatic shifts with the smoothness of a fine single-malt Scotch. Handling response is superb, aided by a new, largely aluminum suspension. And you're bathed in luxury with rich leather seats, an optional head-up dis- play, and optional Bang & Olufsen audio system that rivals tickets to the BSO. Yet it's the Gran Coupé—built to take on such four-doors as the Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and Mercedes-Benz CLS—that's grabbing the most attention. The company's lofty achievement: Add rear doors and room for PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BMW

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