A 'Gentleman's Racer'. Is that what this is? BMW thinks so. For you, that might conjure up pictures of Brooklands in the Thirties but what the Munich maker means by that term is the kind of big sporty GT that Aston Martin has long specialised in. In terms of the driving experience, what BMW has aimed for here is something mid-way between what's served up by this car's two main rivals - the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and more powerful versions of the Porsche 911. And broadly, that's what you get. This car's 'raison d'etre' isn't primarily for the track; no 2-tonne luxury coupe is ever going to feel completely comfortable on a circuit. But it's a heck of a lot more comfortable there than the previous 6 Series models ever were. The brand's xDrive 4WD system is standard, as in 'Integral Active Steering', which gives you four wheel steering for extra cornering stability. Plus there's fantastic traction through the big bespoke Bridgestones and absolutely brilliant brakes.
I opted to try the 840d diesel variant. It obviously can't deliver the aural excitement of the alternative V8 petrol versions but the free-revving in-line 3.0-litre six still manages to sound rather good in its own way, with a deep gravelly note that's emphasised by the stereo speakers. It's got a lot of grunt too, the 750Nm torque figure 70Nm higher than the standard V8. And you get the same Launch Control set-up to hurl you away from rest, allowing an 840d to reach 62mph in just 4.9s. If you like your stats, you can see plenty more of them via a 'Sport' display in the 'Car' section of the centre-dash infotainment screen that as you drive can show you G-Force readings, plus torque horsepower, oil temperature and turbo boost read-outs.