New Detailed Information Released for BMW 650i Coupe

The new BMW 650i coupe boldly goes where no 6 Series has gone before – it's actually a good looking car whose design matches its performance, according to new detailed information.

The previous 650i was, frankly, a squat looking 2x2 coupe that delivered amazing performance and handling but was nothing owners could point to with pride and exclaim, "Isn't she a beauty?" Rather, talk would focus on its performance levels and handling but BMW has changed all that with just the most minor of tweaks.

The new 6 series, which arrives in dealerships this fall, has seen its body lengthened 2.9 inches, its wheelbase increased by 2.95 inches (ideally creating something approaching non-amputee legroom in the rear seats), and its height lowered by half an inch. Its stance has also been widened by 1.5 inches so the new 6 series finally looks like a sleek BMW instead the illegitimate offspring of a Beemer and a Mini that was fed a little too much bratwurst as a kid.

Another smart design move on BMW's part comes with the use of the optional adaptive LED headlights. The LED (light emitting diode) headlights allow designers to make stunning visual statements while the adaptive feature produces a lighting system that illuminates the curves when you turn the wheel. In other words, the headlights follow your wheels and not where the front fascia is pointed, which greatly improves visibility. Expect adaptive lighting to eventually find its way down to the least expensive models as the technology becomes more commonplace. (The standard lighting on the 6 series is Xenon adaptive lighting – not quite as pretty but just as effective.)

BMW has added a new generation of its head-up-display as an available option. The latest incarnation of the system uses a full spectrum of colors to display the information projected onto the windshield. It's up to you how effective head-up-displays are: those of you with jet pilot training might find them highly effective; others not so much.

The new-generation system projects the symbols as three-dimensional graphics and in ultra-clear resolution onto the windshield. Full-color capability makes the road sign symbols even more realistic, BMW says. At the same time the head-up display is able to present a wider range of information. Depending on vehicle specification, guidance information supplied by the Navigation system, Check Control messages, status messages from the Lane Departure Warning System and warnings from the BMW Night Vision system can all be shown in the Head-Up Display.

The new BMW 650i Coupe is the first car in its class available with integral active steering. This system combines the active steering system for the front axle (available on the previous generation 6 Series Coupe) with a new, steerable rear axle. As BMW explains it, "Precisely harmonized steering angle movements at both axles create a virtual lengthening or shortening of the vehicle’s wheelbase, which fosters greater high-speed stability and enhanced maneuverability for parking and city use."

The handling of the 650i Coupe has been greatly improvement with a 50 percent increase in torsional rigidity (which basically eliminates any unwanted bends in the car when you're cornering it really hard). BMW also said it sought a more perfect balance in the coupe by making the doors, hood and front spring mounts aluminum, while the front fenders, roof lid and trunklid are made from reinforced composite.

No news is good news when it comes to the powertrain of the BMW 650i. It retains the 4.4-liter V-8 engine that develops a maximum 400 hp between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm, and makes peak torque of 450 lb-ft between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm. BMW says it will accomplish the 0 to 60 sprint in 4.8 seconds. One updated element to the 650i is BMW's new 8-speed Sport Automatic gearbox. The six-speed manual transmission remains. No EPA numbers on fuel economy have been released yet.

New chassis technology gives the BMW 650i Coupe the ability to offer both sporty handling and comfort. The double wishbone front axle and the multi-link rear axle are made predominantly from aluminum. The chassis is geared to the requirements of drivers with sporting intentions, although the dampers also respond sensitively to bumps in the road surface under high lateral acceleration (i.e. when you hit a curve too hot). BMW says the electronically controlled shock absorbers adapt to the road surface and the driver’s style to control the car’s body motions.

The driving speed and the damper setting chosen by the driver are also taken into account in calculating the damping force required for each individual wheel to even out body movements. This data is fed back to the shock-absorber units at intervals of just 2.5 milliseconds.

The BMW 650i Coupe is fitted with newly developed lightweight seats with an integrated seatbelt system and standard 20-way multi-contour adjustability and adjustable lumbar support. Optionally, the luxury seating package adds front ventilated seats and active fatigue reduction can be added. All seat variants come with crash-activated anti-whiplash head restraints.

Share this content.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.