BMW could make major changes to the 6 Series as it prepares to expand its lineup toward the top end.
The Munich-based carmaker has all but confirmed that it’s developing a new flagship positioned a notch above the 7 Series. Tentatively called 9 Series, the model will take the form of a four-door sedan with a sleek, coupe-like roofline.
If the 9 Series gets the nod of approval from BMW’s top brass, the family-friendly 6 Series Gran Coupe will be axed so that it doesn’t overlap with its bigger sibling. The convertible model also won’t be replaced because the segment it competes in is steadily shrinking, meaning only the coupe model (pictured) will soldier on.
The 6 will morph into a completely different kind of coupe, however. Today’s model is more of a luxury grand touring model that’s brutally quick — especially with an M-massaged engine under the hood — but not particularly dynamic to drive. Its replacement will be markedly more driver-focused in order to fight in the same ring as the vaunted Porsche 911.
To achieve this, BMW will make the next 6 Series slightly smaller than the model that’s currently sitting in showrooms. The coupe will also lose about 500 pounds by switching to the modular CLAR platform found under the new 7 Series and the next 5 Series, and it will benefit from BMW’s expertise in lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum.
BMW will play the tech card, according to Automobile Magazine. The company’s next big coupe will be available with an advanced rear-wheel steering system and a full air suspension, though both features will likely be found on the list of options. Mechanically, the 6 Series will usher in a brand-new straight-six engine tuned to generate a V8-like 550 horsepower thanks to the use of four turbochargers, while the M6 will carry on with a twin-turbocharged V8 tuned to provide over 600 horsepower. Both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive variants will be available.
We’ll find out more about the next BMW 6 Series in the coming months. It will arrive in either late 2018 or early 2019 regardless of what form it takes.