Over the years, it is clear that BMW designers have opted for the “Bigger is Better” strategy, culminating into the face of the new 4 Series. However, going through the company’s history, we can say this whole trend started with the colossal 5 Series Gran Turismo.
The 5 GT’s body seems over-inflated disproportionate and ungainly, which is why BMW tried to address that with its successor, the 2017 G32 6 Series Gran Turismo. Although sleeker and with better-integrated styling, we couldn’t help but feel this was just a lowered X6 SUV Coupe. This new 2021 facelift Gran Turismo has enhanced styling cues to match that of the G30 5 Series, and somehow, it seems to work!
BMW has pulled off somewhat of a miracle with the styling, sharpening up the front fascia incorporating an aggressive front splitter and air intake. The sleeker headlights are now LED with matrix technology as standard, and of course, BMW’s Laserlight would be an optional extra.
Even the larger BMW kidney grilles finally look proportionate to the bulky body of the 6 GT. The rear end now features the same trapezoidal tailpipes. However, the side view, on the other hand, remains identical and is still an acquired taste.
The interior is standard BMW fare, with a simple yet classy and well-thought layout. The 6 Series Gran Turismo now comes as standard with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, equipped with a 12.3-inch central infotainment screen. Now using the BMW Operating System 7, the 6 GT has access to cloud navigation and can receive over-the-air updates.
With a full leather interior and electrically adjustable front seats, the rear seats come with electrical adjustments, but as an optional extra. Other interior options include dynamic interior light, a four-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic glass roof, a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system and the latest version of the Rear Seat Entertainment Professional system.
The main feature of BMW’s summer model facelift is the introduction of the 48V mild-hybrid system into all four- and six-cylinder engines, be it petrol or diesel. The 6 Series Gran Turismo is no exception, with the electric motor adding 11hp to the overall output. The electronic motor doubles as a starter-generator increasing efficiency and taking the strain of the engine during Start/Stop functions and decoupling from the transmission at speeds below 15kph.
The BMW 640i xDrive, the model, currently sold in Malaysia, is now equipped with the 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six producing 333hp and 450Nm of torque. What’s more surprising are the six-cylinder diesel engines offered, with the 640d xDrive providing more power than the petrol variant, at 340hp and a tyre-shredding 700Nm of torque! If there was a car to choose the diesel over petrol, this would be it.
All variants of the 6 Series Gran Turismo will be mated to the familiar ZF-sourced eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox, with BMW XDrive AWD system available as standard on all six-cylinder engine trims.
Equipped with lane departure warning, steering assistance, together with the optional active navigation guidance and rear-wheel steering with active roll stabilisation, BMW promises the 6 Series Gran Turismo to be safe when you’re having fun driving it.
The BMW Gran Turismo concept has never really taken off in Malaysia, perhaps due to the unsavoury design and ungainly bulk. However, this new facelift has brought the G32 6 Series Gran Turismo into a new light, and probably, we may have been too quick to judge its looks. Court will reconvene when we finally see it in the metal.