First Look: 2012 BMW 6 Series Coupe

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With the recently unveiled 5 Series, BMW’s design stepped into a new era, but the new design language hasn’t been fully acknowledged until the new …

With the recently unveiled 5 Series, BMW’s design stepped into a new era, but the new design language hasn’t been fully acknowledged until the new BMW 6 Series Coupe took its veil off at the Paris Motor Show.

The design came as a relief to those who were concerned BMW is going down the path of safe and conservative designs, some might even say, predictible. But seeing the car in person, has certainly changed our view.

Exterior Design. Full speed ahead.

BMW 6 Series Coupe is the first vehicle from the Munich-based automaker to get full LED treatment; driving lights, indication lights, brake lights and rear-lights.

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It has the same length as the current 6 Series, but sits on a wider track and has been lowered to enhance its sportiness character.

Looks-wise, the 6 Series concept appears stronger, more sculpted, and more fluid designed that the current model.  Flame surfacing is out and the car features more hardened lines running across its side.

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BMW’s Chief Designer Adrian van Hooydonk describes the front-end as “a shark-like nose” featuring highly the previously mentioned LEDs, a slightly forward-leaning kidney grille and a full-width air duct within the lower part of the bumper. The front-end design reflect both the sophistication and aggressiveness that went into this design. The kidney-grille are unique across the lineup with glass inserts along the top ridge.


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The long bonnet and shorter overhangs are what perfectly describe a 6 Series model, and BMW enhanced these traits even more in the latest model. Also notable are the swollen front fenders, after which a sharp, chiseled upper body emerges.

Watching the car rotate on the turn table, the surface lines, concave and convex shapes, or the nice sculpted shadows, show us that BMW is taking a new path under the Van Hooydonk’s vision.

The body-to-glass approach with pillarless doors is another trademark of the new 6 Series Coupe and fits harmoniously with the rest of design.


The lower stance and wider rear will plant the car firmly on the ground and in our opinion, it will dominate the road and its surroundings.

Interior Design. A new whole level of luxury.

Its interior is more closely related to it predecessor, with an evolved, more dynamic driver-centric IP. The most intriguing aspect is the passenger side dash top and the surface above the glovebox, which twist, tornado-style along the center stack and into the center console.


Along with the new fresh design, the BMW 6 Series Coupe Concept offers a state-of-the-art interior design that has been much craved by BMW fans. The design has evolved towards a more dynamic driver-oriented cockpit with unique lines going across the dashboard, and twisting shapes that connect the center console to the driver and passenger’s own space.

The center section of the instrument panel, featuring the iDrive Control Display, the central air vents and the audio and climate controls, is inclined slightly but visibly towards the driver. The electronic gear selector and the Drive Dynamic Control buttons are mounted on the driver’s side of the front console.



The interior is dominated by the large 10.2 inch display that reveals the latest infotainment system from BMW. Framed by a chrome plated frame, the flat-screen takes a more upright position, in contrast to the built-in approach we have seen in previous models.

High-quality leather trim with double stitching in a contrasting color accentuates the dynamic transition between the centre console and the instrument panel. The instrument panel features the same Black Panel technology seen in the 5 Series family and the 7 Series flagship.

The BMW Concept 6 Series Coupe has a panoramic glass roof which enhances the lightness of this design language. Carefully selected materials, coupled with meticulous craftsmanship and build quality, underscore the luxurious character of the concept model.

While we weren’t allowed to sit inside, Christian Bauer, BMW interior designer, assured us that the rear seats offer comfortable headroom, legroom and shoulder room, especially compared to its predecessor.

Another highlight of the new 6 Series Coupe and something that BMW is really proud of, is the audio system designed exclusively for this model by the Danish shop Bang & Olufsen.



Our first impression is that BMW hit a home run with the new 6er, restoring customers’ confidence in their design shop and bringing a fierce contender to the high-end luxurious automotive market. We expect very little changes to the production model due out at Geneva Motor Show in March 2011.

25 responses to “First Look: 2012 BMW 6 Series Coupe”

  1. Mohit says:

    Uhm. We’ve already seen the 6 series coupe 1000 by now. Try posting something new. I want my click back.

    • wazon8 says:

      What did you expect from headline “First Look: 2012 BMW 6 series coupe”? Maybe you should read before you click.

  2. ZimBimmerhead says:

    This nu 6er hs rly shown that there is still life at Beemer afta the Bangle Bungle era, i certainly hope Beemer will release more products along these lines-Daring ,Bold, Different.The interior is just the best by Beemer full stop.

    • bob says:

      The F12 is a ‘Bangle’d BMW’…As are the F01-03, E89, F07, F10-11, E84 & F25.

      The apparent fact that some people don’t/can’t/won’t realize that the new design language — the *evolution* generation — was also done under Bangle’s direction, prior to his departure from the company (to follow his *revolutionary* generation), is bemusing. Consequently, confusion such as this should come as no surprise.

      FYI, “bimmer” = auto; “beemer” = motorrad.

  3. Steve says:

    The panel gaps are very very tight like the ones on the f10 5 series. It shows how beautifully made the car is. I have an e46 coupe and the panel gaps are terrible, but I’ll put that down to the fact the car was released in 1998

  4. bob says:

    This article is a self-contradiction.

    “Flame surfacing is out…”

    False. “FS”, by definition means both concave AND convex stampings in the same body panel. Please review Chris Bangle’s comments regarding Anders Warming’s E85, when it debuted.

    “Watching the car rotate on the turn table, the surface lines, concave and convex shapes, or the nice sculpted shadows, show us that BMW is taking a new path under the Van Hooydonk’s vision.”

    This is an ignorant comment because, not only does it directly contradict the earlier comment (above), but makes unsubstantiated assumptions as well.

    – The design development for this generation of bimmers was done long, long, before CEB left AG.

    – Therefore, since this took place several years ago, it can only be credited as CEB’s “vision”, since he was Head of Design at the time, not AvH’s.

    – This is not a “new path” for CEB, but an *evolution*…just as he said would occur. For example, the concave/convex surface dynamic on the F12 does not establish the concept of what used to be called ‘flame surfacing’, but an evolution. An evolution, with the possible assist from increased production technology/expertrise, of what CEB did with his previous generation.

    • bob says:

      Ya know, it’s exceedingly ironic how some people think just because the latest bimmer came out after Bangle left BMW, that there’s been a huge change in design direction at BMW. It doesn’t. What it does do, however, is indicate how adaptive CEB is. He made his previous *revolutionary* generation of bimmers, well, revolutionary. His current generation, beginning with the F01-03, is as *evolutionary* as he/they said it would be. He’s done his job brilliantly.

      Think about it. He’s done his job so well that a good part of the general public mistakenly thinks van Hooydonk is solely responsible.

      Bangle went out just as he went in…

      • bob says:

        …Bangle went out just as he went in.

        For their July, 1994 issue, CAR interviewed the then relatively new Chief Designer at BMW – “Star-spangled Bangle”.

        CAR: “So when does the world see the first Bangle-BMW?”

        CEB: “I hope that you will never be able to tell.”

        Anyone know? What was the first, full BMW done under Bangle’s direction, from inception to SOP? Who will be the first with the correct answer? And, who will be the first to say the E65?

    • Doug says:

      i don’t think there’s flam surfacing at all in this design, except in some recognizable shapes that were carried over from the previous model, like the trunk contour. This design is all about softened bevels; the car neither has nor connotes any inspired shape.

      • bob says:

        Better Q might be, Which body panel DOESN’T have FS?

        Are there not both concave and convex stampings in the same body panel(s)?

        Doesn’t the surfacing details/dynamics create light refraction?



        • Doug says:

          What clearcoat-painted surface won’t refract light? Any surface that isn’t flat will have convex and concave surfaces; it is the shape created by the intersection between convex and concave that this refers to, as i understand it. Those dramatic curves and interactions were used to create designs with expression and distinguished character, and those elements and their use are absent here. The only elements that could be considered FS per the definition do not create much form if any, like the side contours used to create the shoulder line.

          There’s really nothing unique or interesting about this design except some of the treatments. It’s the same as any other car. You could easily change the grille and call it the lexus 2011 IS500. It’s not an unattractive car, but something significant has been lost.

  5. Giom says:

    I think this is one of those designs that will come to life in person rather than on photographs – like Horatiu mentioned. Proportions arn’t always clear in 2d.

    The only thing that I’m holding in reserve, is the fact that the Gran Coupe looks so much similar to the Coupe. Don’t know if that is a bad thing or a good thing, but I feel like we’re missing out on one more opportunity with the Gran. If it had looked more like the CS concept, and less like the Six Coupe, it would have been better. But you cannot always get what you want.

    • Doug says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that with the new models, they seem to be more attractive in person for some reason. Why is that?

      And agree completely regarding the CS.

      • bob says:

        “Yeah, I’ve noticed that with the new models, they seem to be more attractive in person for some reason. Why is that?”

        Bangle’s design direction’s raison d’etre. You do not experience cars in 2D but in 3D. He changed the designers’ culture to reflect that.

  6. viper says:

    very nice but wait for the final product then compare it to its competition , until then , bye

  7. Babken says:

    I agree. A completely new era in design. Especially the interior.

  8. Doug says:

    Also, using Bang and Olufsen sends a strange message. B&O systems are overpriced, over-engineered and over-fabricated. While good, they are more about style than substance. There were quite a few other companies to choose from that would have better communicated bmw’s commitment to performance.

  9. Efoza says:

    with these 5GT design lines this car will sell very well.

    • Doug says:

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      Let me know if i can help with your keywords again

  10. Rod says:

    Absolutely gorgeous but the Cadillac like pop-up Nav/Media screen is so bad it would be a show stopper for me.

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