Saturday, December 24, 2011

2012 BMW 640i Coupe

2012 BMW 640i Coupe All the 6-series one needs—even though no one needs a 6-series.

After a one-year hiatus, the 6-series returns redesigned and refreshed. Lower, wider, and longer than before, the 6-series is now more elegant as well. A turbocharged six powers the 640i, while the 650i has a very powerful twin-turbo V-8. All-wheel drive is available for the first time
Specifications BMW 640i Coupe
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
BASE PRICE: $74,475
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 182 cu in, 2979 cc
Power: 315 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 330 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 112.4 in
Length: 192.8 in
Width: 74.6 in Height: 53.9 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 4150 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 4.8 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.5 sec
Top speed: 130 mph
EPA city/highway driving: 21/31 mpg
BMW’s U.S. engine lineup is a model of flexibility and simplicity. The company fits its regular-production models with a naturally aspirated inline-six, a turbocharged inline-six, or a twin-turbocharged V-8. (Starting this year, the naturally aspirated six is being replaced by a turbocharged four-cylinder, and there’s also a low-volume 12-pot available only in the $138,000 760Li. But that’s it for complications.) All are smooth and powerful, among the best mills on the market. With those three basic packages, BMW powers the 1-, 3-, 5-, 6-, and 7-series, the X3, X5, and X6, and the Z4. We rarely complain about any pairing of powerplant and vehicle.
What we have in the 640i is a new combination of existing parts, but a combination that is in no way surprising. The BMW 6-series, freshly redesigned for 2012, shares most of its underpinnings with the 5- and 7-series sedans, both of which are available with a turbocharged inline-six. With ever-tighter fuel-economy standards looming, the 640i is as expected as someone ducking when you take a swing at his face.

And the 640i will be a very effective counter to the government’s move to ban horsepower and control fuel consumption. Thanks to the tall gear ratios at the top of its eight-speed automatic transmission, the 640 delivers an EPA-estimated 31 mpg on the highway. That gives this two-ton coupe the highest highway fuel economy of any BMW, aside from the 528i and Z4 sDrive28i, which use the firm’s new four-cylinder. Interestingly, 31 mpg is also 6 mpg better than that of the six-cylinder 740i. The 6’s city figure is 21, compared with 17 for the 7. Thank the 640’s two extra gear ratios—the 740i still has just six—and its newer, single-turbo engine.
As a big coupe, the 6 is a machine for broadcasting its owner’s greatness. Or at least that’s what we’d use it for. If you’re a bigger person than we are, though, and just want to look good, drive around surrounded by BMW’s best interior yet, and do so for as little money as possible, there’s no reason not to do it in a 640i. Except maybe—okay, we’ll say it again—the steering.

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