BMW’s sporty hatchback will level up for the 2018 model year, migrating from the 5 Series to the 6 Series, a shift that makes this big, spacious hatch even larger and adds more options for customization.
While some brands go with the standard liftback identifier and rival Audi prefers the name Sportback for its A5 and S5 hatches, BMW opts for a slightly little more regal designation for its 5-door variants: Gran Turismo. Despite sharing a name with a racing video game, “GT” is actually Italian for “grand tour,” so its actually quite befitting of the 6 Series, which has been beefed up to add more room for people and stuff.
BMW has offered 3 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismos in the past, but the 6 Series is the largest to date, adding nearly 4 inches of total length and more than a cubic foot of maximum cargo room to the dimensions of its predecessor. It total, the 2018 6 Series GT is 201 inches long and offers between 31 and 65 cubic feet of cargo room, although it keeps the same wheelbase as the outgoing 5 Series GT and it sits an inch lower to the ground.
Despite its grander proportions, BMW has managed to shave more than 80 pounds off the 2017 5 Series GT, registering a 2018 curb weight of 4,409 pounds. This lighter body helps the 6 Series GT get more out of its six-cylinder engine, making 335 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque to the 5 Series ratings of 300 and 300. The 2018 version also spreads those maximum ratings across a wider rev range.
With the slight increase in exterior size comes modest improvements to rear seat headroom and legroom, although BMW steps of passenger comfort even further by giving the 2018 6 Series GT adding optional multi-contour seats with active ventilation and massage settings as well as a power-adjustable backrest.
Up front, the driver and front passenger get similar comfort accommodations as well as a higher ride height than last year’s model that comes with greater visibility.
BMW hides the increased dimensions well, counting a more stylish roofline as one of several styling improvements within the 2018 6 Series GT. The front end, which features BMW’s new hexagonal LED headlight design as well as a wider version of its active kidney grille, the German luxury carmaker has reworked the design on its latest Gran Turismo offering. Meanwhile the back end tapers down more elegantly and features sleeker taillights.
Debut only as the 640i xDrive, the 2018 6 Series will arrive with a single powertrain that consists of a 3.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged 6-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. However, with adaptive dampening modes that include Sport and Comfort, driver’s can experience a variety of handling styles.
An available M Sport package adds better aerodynamics as well as a more engaging driving experience through the use of an add-on Dynamic Handling Package with Active Steering, Adaptive Drive two-axle air suspension, Active Roll Stabilization and Dynamic Damper Control as well as either 19- or 20-inch M double-spoke tires.
Speaking of tires, the 2018 6 Series GT will offer a total 12 wheel colors—10 that are metallic and two that are not—and three sizes ranging up to 21 inches. Additional customization will be offered through stylish Sport and Luxury design packages.
Look for the 2018 BMW 6 Series Grant Turismo to hit dealerships this fall with a base price of $69,700 with a $995 destination charge.