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BMW 6 Series Concept: Up Close

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More L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Drawing cues from the CS concept shown at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show, the 6 Series represents a logical progression from its predecessor, which was arguably the sharpest-looking car former BMW designer Chris Bangle penned. This one seems to have higher shoulders, with more sheet metal down low and less glass up top. Being a hand-built concept, the 6 Series at the L.A. show wasn’t open for sitting in, but it doesn’t appear to have abandoned visibility in the name of style. (We’re looking at you, Camaro.) Otherwise, the dimensions make for a striking car, particularly from the rear-quarter angle.

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If the production 650i convertible is any indicator, features on the concept car slated for primetime include a freestanding 10.2-inch navigation screen, a head-up display and a rearview camera that deploys from behind the company’s checkered trunk emblem and then retreats when no longer in use to avoid the lens picking up dirt, rain or snow. There’s no sign of the convertible getting the coupe concept’s Bang & Olufsen stereo, which is a shame. The independent audio company makes some of the best stereos in the car business, but the convertible gets a proprietary BMW HiFi stereo.

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Look for the coupe to employ the same engine as the convertible: a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 capable of 400 horsepower and 450 pounds-feet of torque. It works through an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission on both the concept coupe and production convertible. The manual transmission is unique to the U.S., where BMW found sufficient demand to justify it. Other markets get only the automatic. As usual, kudos to BMW for sticking with sticks.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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