Having started life in Australia in 2004, the BMW 6 Series is the sort of car that stops traffic as it drives by. The 645CI was the first to land, powered by a 4.4-litre V8 with 245kW of power. The model was superseded by the 650i in late 2005.
The 650i received an ever bigger 4.8-litre V8 engine taken from the 7 Series. It managed 270kW and a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds. With the launch of 2008 model BMW has given the 650i a mid-life facelift.
Minor and subtle exterior enhancements are not the only addition. BMW has included a variety of technological updates, including a new tune for the 4.8-litre valvetronic V8 engine which can now take the 6 Series coupe from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. The 650i convertible has its time cut down to 5.6 seconds (from 5.8 seconds).
With over 80,000 6 Series sold around the world (689 in Australia), there is no denying the car has been a success. According to Guenther Seemann, Managing Director of BMW Group Australia, the car appeals to "successful entrepreneurs who want to enjoy the finest in V8 power, sumptuous luxury and state-of the art technological features”.
The 2008 range also receives a newly developed six-speed sports automatic transmission, paddles on the steering wheel and a sports button, which when selected provides the driver with faster gearshifts, optimised throttle mapping as well as adjusted control map for the Servotronic power steering.
Standard features have also been upgraded with Comfort Access, Soft Close automatic doors, cruise control with brake function, as well as a USB/audio interface.
The new range gets a new options list including a lane change warning system, active cruise control with stop and go function, Premium sound system and variable light distribution technology (subject to final government approval).
Although you get more with the 2008 range, the price has also increased. The new 650i Coupé now starts from $212,000 while the new 650i Convertible is $228,800 - both models now cost an extra $6000.
The hero car in the range, the BMW M6, has also gone up in price. The M6 Coupe starts at $279,400 while its convertible brother starts at $299,000 - an increase of $3000 for both models.
The new 6 Series range is in BMW showrooms now.