RIP: BMW 6 Series

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
rip bmw 6 series

Admit it ⁠— when you think of the BMW 6 Series, it’s the long prow of the mid-80s 633 or 635 CSi nosing into your brain, not the oddly-shaped 2019 640i xDrive Gran Turismo. That sleek Reagan-era coupe can continue to roam throughout your mind for years to come, as it won’t have any competition.

For the 2020 model year, the last bearers of the 6 Series designation fade from the American landscape, joined in their vanishing act by an unloved 3 Series four-door with a liftback.

The 3 and 6 Series Gran Turismos were recent introductions to the BMW lineup, donning four doors and a sloping hatchback body that upped the utility factor a bit while lowering sex appeal immensely. All-wheel drive came standard, but sales did not.

With a new 3 Series here and the resurrected 8 series taking the place of all things luxurious and sporty at the top end, the GTs and the 6 Series as a whole don’t make much sense. Like most automakers, BMW wants fewer build configurations and a leaner business. The 6 Series’ demise was foretold by the loss of the more traditional coupe and convertible variants, leaving only the GT and Gran Coupe (actually a sedan, regardless of what anyone says) as oddball pickings.

Not needed, BMW feels — the new 8 Series, in gran coupe, droptop, and coupe guise, will scratch the itch of high-end buyers looking for something exclusive and sexy.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe and 3 Series GT are already nowhere to be found on Bimmer’s consumer website, while the 6 Series GT remains listed as a 2019 model. July sales date shows the automaker moving just 80 6 Series vehicles in the U.S., with sales over the first seven months of the year down 58.4 percent. The disappearance is already well underway.

As for the 3 Series, the disappearance of the GT (first announced in May) probably won’t hurt the lineup in any significant way, what with the revamped 2020 sedan now available in 330i and M340i versions. 3 Series sales rose 6.5 percent, year over year, in July, though the model line’s year-to-date tally amounts to a 10.3 percent loss. We’ll have to wait and see if the new generation lifts the model’s fortunes over a longer term.

[Images: BMW]

Join the conversation
4 of 26 comments
  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Aug 10, 2019

    As someone wrote about the misnamed 3 Series GT and 5 Series GT; they look like your aunt Edna. I saw exactly one 640i xDrive 4.0 Gran Turismo on the road a few weeks ago. I thought, "Wow that exists here in the states. However I do see plenty of 6 series coupes, convertibles and Gran Coupes around. Personally I like the 4 Series Gran Coupe since its is an attractive, lean nicely balanced sport hatch. It’s a nice practical alternative to the bloated CUV’s like the 4 door hatch on stilts X4 and X6.

  • Stumpaster Stumpaster on Aug 12, 2019

    Funny how this posse is going to cream themselves over a VW GTI or some 2.0-bearing SUV contraption and yet a 640GT is faster and quieter and the best second hand value out there.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lockstops Lockstops on Aug 12, 2019

      By the time it has actually depreciated to a reasonable level it will also cost you about a VW GTI's worth to maintain. I just don't think they're cheap enough for what they are. But I do agree that deep down they're still a great RWD BMW platform and as such better for the car world than anything VW has ever brought us.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.