The new BMW 6 Series GT is a car that refuses to conform to the automotive industry’s established list of body styles. It is a fastback that’s neither a conventional three-box sedan nor a conventional hatchback. It is a large, well-built luxury car with a very spacious and comfortable cabin and pleasant driving dynamics. The car is available in a choice of petrol and diesel engines. I had the petrol variant for this review; the 630i M Sport, which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 258 horsepower and 400Nm of torque.
The first thing you notice about the car is its capaciousness –5.09m long, weighing 1,800 kilos. But with the power going to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic ‘Steptronic’ transmission, the four-cylinder engine feels quite capable of hauling its heft. Zero to 100kph comes up in a reasonable 6.5 seconds, and top speed is an expressway-friendly 250kph. On the move, the 630i feels eager to respond to the driver’s inputs, perking up quickly when prodded and picking up pace effortlessly.
Yes, one of BMW’s famous six-cylinder engines might have worked even better here, providing the kind of effortless, creamy-smooth, long-distance high-speed cruising that’s hard for a four-cylinder engine to match. That said, the 630i’s four-pot unit works admirably well in the real world, where costs must also be considered and where engine downsizing is now the norm.
Where the 630i M Sport gets a bit more interesting is its suspension; the car has a self-levelling adaptive 2-axle air suspension, with individual dampers for each wheel. This setup is height adjustable and even lowers the car automatically at higher speeds for improved stability. It works pretty well and provides consistently smooth ride quality, not just on smooth tarmacs but also on moderately bad roads.
One thing I did notice, though, during my drive at top speed. The rear end tends to get unsettled and moves around a fair bit when the car is driven across a dip in the road at even moderately high speeds. Besides this minor issue, the car handles very well. The meaty Pirelli P Zero tyres on the 19-inch alloy wheels gripped the surface tight even when I hustled the car around fast bends at high speed without things threatening to get out of hand. It was clear that the 6 GT’s adaptive air suspension is optimised more for ride comfort rather than cornering heroics, which is the right thing for this car’s intended audience.
Inside the cabin, the car is every bit as plush and comfortable as you might expect of a large, modern BMW saloon. Fully adjustable business class-spec seats upholstered in tan leather, classy wood and metal trim on the dashboard, and loads of legroom and headroom at the front and the back. However, as usual, a large transmission tunnel makes it difficult for the middle seat occupant in the rear bench to get comfortable.
Individual infotainment touchscreen displays for two rear seat occupants, full smartphone connectivity, a 464W, 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, even a BluRay player for the twin rear-mounted displays, the 630i’s list of comfort and entertainment toys is pretty much endless. There’s also fully digital instrumentation with configurable display, maps for navigation and BMW’s latest 7.0 operating system for the car’s infotainment system, which is intuitive and easy to use. Everything looks and feels reassuringly expensive.
The safety paraphernalia scores top marks. There are multiple airbags all around, ABS with brake-assist and cornering brake control, traction control, stability control, tyre air pressure indicator and ISOFIX child seat mounts. Driver assistance features include park assist, active park distance control and a rear-view camera, all of which help, especially during tricky parallel parking manoeuvres.
The car also has multiple driving modes, including Sport, Sport+, Comfort, Comfort+ and Eco Pro, though Comfort and Sport modes felt best suited to the 630i. A notable piece of equipment is the laser lights. In addition to LED low-beam and high-beam, the 6 GT also has a laser module, with a claimed 650m lighting range. Damn cool.
The BMW 6 Series GT is a luxury car with a nicely rounded range of talents. Its fastback rear gives it massive boot space (though a lot of it is taken up by the spare wheel), and the individualistic styling grows on you eventually. It is priced at Rs 67.90 lakh ex-showroom, is a strong performer with oodles of luxury to back up the driving dynamics.
Those looking for more performance can opt for the 630d M Sport, powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel that produces 265bhp and a massive 620Nm of torque. Then again, with its ex-showroom price tag of Rs 77.90 lakh, you pay a fair bit more for the extra performance.
Whether you choose the petrol or the diesel variant, the 6 Series GT is an all-around accomplished luxury car worth the money.