BMW shoppers looking for sportier and more luxurious versions of the 6 Series and 6 Series Gran Coupe without stepping up to the mighty M6 now have something new to check out. Offered on all versions of the 640i and 650i for the 2014 model year, the company’s M Sport Edition package goes on sale in June with prices starting at $80,625 for the 640i Coupe, $83,325 for the 640i Gran Coupe and $87,925 for the 640i Convertible (*all prices including $925 for destination).
This package will allow standard 6 Series models to receive M6 styling cues like the more aggressive, aero-tuned front fascia, 19-inch wheels and even the option of the M6-exclusive Sakhir Orange metallic hue shown above. Matching the M6-like exterior, the interior will also be upgraded with an M-specific steering wheel, M badges on the door sill plates and the option of BMW Individual leather with a unique white and orange color scheme. With price increases of well over $5,000 for the M Sport Edition, this package also includes plenty of standard features like the company’s Professional hi-fi audio system, head-up display, ConnectedDrive Navigation and – wait for it – a ski bag.
Autocar took an Ariel Atom V8, BMW HP4 superbike and X-Games gold medalist Liam Doren’s Citroën DS3 rallycross ride to an airstrip for a drag race. Sadly for all the drivers and for us, the clouds took to the sky and poured more and more rain on the track before the big race.
It’s still a fun theoretical battle. The 550-kilogram Ariel Atom brings a 3.3-liter V8 with 475 horsepower, 268 pound-feet of torque and a 748-hp-per-ton ratio. The engine-restricted, 1,300-kg DS3 Rallycross rocks a 2.0-liter four-cylinder set for the day to about 560 hp, 600 lb-ft and – because of its variable boost – anywhere from 454-577 hp-per-ton. The HP4, naturally, does the most with the least, its 169 kg hauling a 1.0-liter engine with 163 hp, 83 lb-ft and a screaming 757 hp-per-ton.
It’s a shame the weather didn’t allow the entrants to show all they could do, especially the two-wheel-drive Atom. Nevertheless, it does demonstrate how critical the amount of available traction is to get the most from high-performance machinery, and there’s lots of launch-controlled action and a winner crowned in the video below.
Before we know it, the BMW 1 Series will be no more in the United States. Well, sort of. The current six-year-old coupe and convertible will be replaced by the fancy new 2 Series you see here, spotted completely uncovered during a photo shoot, with the 1 Series nomenclature being reserved for the hatchback and GT models that might not ever make it Stateside.
The roofline of the new 2 Series doesn’t appear to have to changed all that much from the current 1 Series coupe, but the front and rear fascias have indeed been smoothed out. (Truth time: As much as your author adores the 1 Series, he’s always found its rear end to be, well, weird.) It looks good, seen here in M235i guise, with large wheels, slimmer headlamps and large air intakes on either side of the front fascia.
The 2 Series is expected to come to the States, likely in M235i and 228i variants, though rumors suggest that we won’t get a non-M 235i model. The M235i is expected to be powered by the N55 turbocharged inline-six that we currently enjoy in the 335i sedan, producing something like 320 horsepower. The 228i, unsurprisingly, should use the 2.0-liter turbo-four from the 328i, making around 240 hp. Both engines will almost certainly employ eight-speed automatic transmissions and six-speed manuals.
Look for the new coupe to make its official debut in the coming months, with production scheduled to start in November.