RIP: BMW 6 Series

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • 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.

  • Ajla Nice car.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Not at all.
  • Verbal Here's a little tale about long-term Tesla ownership.In 2017 my buddy bought a three year-old Model S for $68k, which was the going rate at the time. He kept it garaged and treated it with kid gloves. It looked and ran virtually like new. The only problem he ever had with it was some kind of recurring issue with the driver's door handle. He never had to replace the brakes.A couple months ago, at ten years of age, the original battery finally bricked. Tesla quoted him $17k to do a battery replacement. But! If he replaced the battery, they would give him $11k in trade on a new Tesla!!! You don't have to be a math genius to see that those are crooked numbers.Using aftermarket parts is a non starter. Rebuilt batteries can be sketch. And the cap that goes on the battery is a Tesla-only part.Most people don't have $17k burning a hole in their pocket for a car repair. What are you going to do? Ask your credit union for a $17k loan to put a new battery in your ten year-old car? Good luck with that.A local auto recycler quoted him $1000. The recycler said that if he replaced the battery, the car would have a resale value in the low $20k's. That wouldn't give him enough headroom to make it worth his while. He said there are 150,000 dead Teslas in the national inventory (don't know where he gets this figure). And there's no demand for used Tesla parts, since most Tesla owners seem to treat their cars well. So Teslas with dead batteries have marginal scrap value.Thus, my friend's Tesla, with 80k miles on the clock and in excellent condition, with a dead battery, was scrapped. During his ownership, the car depreciated by around $800 a month.He saved a lot of money by not paying for gas, oil changes, tune ups, and consumables. But in the end, all those saving were erased by huge depreciation.Welcome to long term Tesla ownership, folks.(Cue the wailing and rending of garments from the Tesla fanboyz.)
  • Aja8888 My BIL had one of these years ago. great car!
  • Wjtinfwb Job cuts and EV's... is that a winning strategy? You're locked in to substantial labor expense after the UAW agreement signed a few months ago. And EV's ain't exactly flying off the shelves en masse. Get the new Charger out already, it's been teased more than the Bronco and Supra were combined. Get a real Hybrid option out for the RAM trucks and big Jeeps that consumers will buy. Consider bringing back a Gen 3 Hemi with an aluminum block, direct injection and perhaps a Hybrid option to counter the Toyota debacle and get a jump on GM. Dump the Hornet and build Dodge a version of the Jeep Compass they can actually sell. A Dodge with Alfa bones isn't compelling to either brands fans. Fix the Durango's oil cooler problems to avoid alienating police departments nationwide. Do you want every cop in the US driving an Explorer? Freshen up the Pacifica and get Chrysler a cool sedan or wagon that can create a buzz like the 300 did more than a decade ago. And fix your dealers, they are by a large jackasses. Plenty of opportunity for improvement.