The current BMW 6 Series is a hot commodity. With three different models — the two-door coupe, GranCoupe with four doors, and convertible version — BMW offers plenty of choices for consumers looking to drop some considerable change for this sporty, luxurious car. Engine offerings start with a 3.0-liter, 315-horsepower, twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six, dubbed the 640i. Next up is the 650i, with a 4.4-liter V-8, also featuring a twin-scroll turbo design, which is good for 445 horsepower. The mighty M6 Convertible comes with a more powerful version of the 650i’s V-8, producing an almost-crazy 560 horsepower. Performance is blistering, regardless of engine choice, and typical BMW luxury and top-notch fit and finish adorn the interior.
While the current 6 Series Convertible is certainly fresh, this isn’t stopping BMW from updating the lineup for the 2016 model year, and our spy photographers caught this facelifted model out testing.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 6 Series Convertible.
August 1st, 2014 - First testing session
The basic design remains relatively unchanged while we wait for the complete redesign due out in 2017 or possibly 2018, but look for updated front and rear fascias with new headlight and taillight designs. We don’t expect any significant powertrain updates — not that the 6 Series needs them — but look for mildly refreshed styling.
All we have are disguised renderings of the refreshed design, but from what we can tell, the lower bumper is slightly modified, with a cleaner, one-piece setup.
The headlights seem to be basically the same shape, but the camouflage surrounding them in these pictures suggests a lighting upgrade — most likely a new, all-LED design. We aren’t sure if the trademark halo-ring daytime running lights will remain, due to the possible redesign of the headlights, but nevertheless, look for a very sharp lighting profile in general.
Out back, the camouflage makes things difficult to speculate on. From what we can see, the taillights seem to take on a slightly different shape, perhaps with sharper LED accent lines seen on the most recent BMW designs.
Inside, don’t expect things to change much, save for a few new color offerings. The current 2014 6 Series interior is a nice place to spend time, and we doubt BMW will mess with a good thing.
Overall, this mild refresh should help the 6 Series remain class-competitive, although admittedly the cosmetic changes aren’t drastic, at least from what we see here.
The iconic 2014 SL-Class , starting at $106,900, is considerably more expensive than the 6 Series convertible and is a hardtop design, but, all in all, it’s the car most would likely cross-shop with the 6-Series Convertible. The SL-Class is a newer design, but has not been quite as well received as past models. The styling — particularly from the front — leaves much to be desired, especially when compared to the previous R230 design.
Driving dynamics have also been somewhat criticized for feeling aloof and detached. Inside, many critics see far too much of a similarity to the half-as-cheap SLK-Class.
This doesn’t mean the SL doesn’t objectively perform well, however. Engine offerings start with a 4.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 that’s good for 429 horsepower in SL550 guise. It just gets crazier from here with two AMG variants: the SL63 with its twin-turbocharged V-8 and the SL65 with its twin-turbo V-12. These models produce 577 and 621 horsepower, respectively.
Exciting news is that for the 2015 model year, Mercedes has chosen to bring an "entry-level" SL to the U.S. Dubbed the SL400, it will feature the brand’s new twin-turbocharged, 326-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6, which should compete quite well with the base 640i’s 315-horsepower, twin-turbo inline-six. Pricing for this new SL400 should start around $20,000 less than a base SL550, which will be close to the 640i’s $83,600 base price.
Gallery Mercedes Benz SL-Class
A closer competitor to the 6 Series Convertible in pricing and seating arrangement — the SL-Class only has two seats — is the Jaguar XK. For 2015, the XK Convertible comes standard with a 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The XKR moves up to 510 horses, thanks to the supercharger strapped atop the 5.0-liter V-8. The XKR-S goes one step further with 550 horses and 502 pound-feet of torque from its supercharged V-8.
The XK Convertible starts out at $90,500, which is just a tick above what we expect the refreshed 6 Series Convertible will base at. From there, the XKR moves up to $103,500 and the XKR-S caps it off at $138,000.
Gallery Jaguar XK Convertible
The current-generation 6 Series Convertible has been around since 2011 and generally well received. Placing mostly mid-pack or at the forefront of several comparison tests, critics have praised the strong engine offerings and excellent chassis, as well as the luxurious interior.
The previous-generation, Bangle-esque 6 Series Convertible was criticized for perhaps the worst "Bangle-butt" styling application in existence, and also was thrown under the bus for the frustrating iDrive interface, still in its infancy back then.
Things improved over the rather long model cycle, with the original 4.4-liter, 325-horsepower V-8 being replaced with an updated, 4.8-liter version that was good for 360 horsepower in 2006. The M6 made its debut as a 2007 model, bringing with it the legendary, race-bred 500-horsepower V-10 that also powered the E60 M5 . iDrive was also updated for the mid-cycle refresh.
Production of the BMW E64 6 Series Convertible ended in 2010.