Ever since the BMW 8 Series was pulled out of the world car scene in 1999, it has been the 6 Series that was left to fill up the void left by the 8 Series. The 6 Series with the codename E63 for the coupe version and E64 for the convertible version came on to the world stage in 2004. The car shares its lineage with the BMW’s 1980s 6-Series that was considered by many as ‘sharky.’ Nevertheless, the 6 Series was tasked to take over from the 8 Series the “big GT” duties that the latter was known for.
For its engine BMW has selected a F1 derived 5.0 liter V10 instead of a range topping V12. The led to the creation of a new M6 with an SMG III transmission system and a carbon fiber roof.
The 6 Series has also been a bold departure from the traditional or the fixed styling form that the Bavarian carmaker had settled down to. With the 6 Series, it has ventured into fresh styling territory somewhat like the other models such as 7 and 5 Series designed by Chris Bangle.
The concept of this car came into being at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show as the Z9 Gran Turismo and then in the 2000 Paris motor show as the Z9 Convertible concept.
Designed by Chris Bangle the production version of the car made its debut at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show labeled as the 2004 Model Year Coupe and then at the 2004 North American International Auto Show labeled as the 2004 MY Convertible.
The final production though did not adhere to the Batmobile like design that had been seen during the concept car display. There was the bisected steering wheel which thankfully had been done away with in the final production model as also the shifting gull-wing doors in the concept model. There was also the inset driving lights that too did not find place in the production model.
What remain of the concept in the final production model are BMW’s double kidney grilles layout and the iDrive system that the GT had first hinted and was first shown in its functional state in the convertible.
The wheelbase, roof line and interior are all more realistic looking in design and style as in the Z9 Convertible concept model.
This car the Z9 Gran Turismo was the first car in the world to have come out with the V8 turbodiesel engine fitted on it. This engine was otherwise found on the 740d.
The car is now ready for grazing as the F12 6 Series is about to be launched.