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BMW 6 Series coupe is all about style

January 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It's long, low and sleek. It looks expensive, because it is. It looks fast, because it is.

At a base price of $83,000, it's the BMW 6 Series coupe, all new for 2012.

For decades, BMW's larger coupes have been regarded as status symbols in the car world. The heritage of this newest example goes back to the futuristic C S model of the 1970s.

Now, as then, the big two door is about style, not so much about carrying a lot of people. The back seat is small and not easy to get into.

Cargo? That's another story. Plenty of space for a week's worth of luggage for two.

A V-8 returns to the engine bay in the 650i, now aided by turbochargers for maximum power without sending the fuel gauge south too quickly. You can feel a little greener by choosing the 640i with an inline six instead.

Technology and luxury abound inside and out. The list of standard and optional items rivals that of any upscale car.

For example, there are five cameras to help you with parking. They're in the front fenders, the mirrors and one in the back that appears from behind the roundel badge, secret agent style. Anyone should be able to park this car with pinpoint accuracy.

One interesting styling feature is the large LCD screen that juts out of the dash. It's not hidden or tucked away, but shown off like a home theater TV or an iPad.

Coupes are just not as common as they once were. In fact, in the compact and mainstream categories, you hardly find two doors at all. But they're still popular in the sporty, luxury category, or in the case of the 650i, the sporty-luxury category.

That's probably why BMW's German rival Mercedes-Benz has added to its coupe offerings this year with a two-door version of the C-Class, giving Mercedes something to match BMW.