BMW 6 Series: Why it Was Once the Best BMW

In my opinion, of course.

Where it All Began

Jumping in to replace the old BMW E9’s of the 70’s, the 6 Series began it’s multi-decade journey onto the street and track. The body was longer than the old 5 Series and kept its grand tourer body style from the E9. Aside from that, it didn’t bring much else to the table, but provided potential to build off of.

After production of the first gen ceased in 1989, it wouldn’t be until 2003 that a new 6 Series would see the world. The second generation resembles why I particularly enjoy the 6 Series the most. Once the cars began to roll off of the assembly line, the 6 Series entered a great state of controversy, mostly due to it’s new design and user unfriendly iDrive system, according to Car and Driver.

Risky Innovation

This different design was seen throughout the lineup of 2003 BMWs, but the 6 Series particularly stood out. Designer Chris Bangle was behind all of this controversy, earning the back end of the car the title of “Bangle Butt” (Its a real thing, look it up). This new curvy styling may have been rated harshly by some, but I appreciate BMW for taking that swim into unknown waters by producing what they felt right about. If you particularly enjoyed the design, BMW also produced an “M” edition of the car, complete with a carbon fiber roof and around 500 horsepower.

After the gen 2 wrapped up in 2010, the next 6 Series had an odd start, releasing a convertible edition of the car before the coupe, however this generation had far less criticism, and even went on to win multiple awards. If the second gen was a rough, jagged block of wood, gen 3 would be smooth and sanded. The design was definitely different but still maintained some of the curved gen 2 qualities.

Now we come to the current generation of 6 Series, which is where I really don’t care for the car’s looks anymore. While the coupe retains the gen 3 style, the new “Gran Turismo” body type is sort of funky. I guess that they were aiming for something in between a sedan and a wagon? While it is definitely something different again, its hard to distinguish it from the 3 Series Gran Turismo and the 5 Series version. It loses its old touch (and headlights) but then again, wasn’t that the point of the gen 2? Perhaps I’m in the wrong here then, but what it lost was its unique style, seeing as the 5 Series and 3 Series GT were designed with the same layout, at slightly different sizes.

In Conclusion

… while the BMW 6 Series went through an odd shift in design throughout its life and was subject to mixed impressions, it also stands as a beacon for future designers to look back upon, possibly encouraging them to take similar risks to bring a potentially popular style to the table. Its also standing strong in present day, so be prepared for more sudden changes in the future.

Image Credit

All Images:, on Unsplash

3 Replies to “BMW 6 Series: Why it Was Once the Best BMW”

  1. Risk is sometimes a good thing…can’t belive I just said that. Liked the article. Personally I really liked the rounded shapes of the car and honestly found it to be “sexy”. I don’t say that often about a car. Never been a fan of the carbon fiber roof. Bangle got a lot of grief for “flame-surfacing” but later was considered to be a genius. A similar example for me is I really, really hated the front grille on the Lexus but have grown to like it over time.


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