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The 6 Series:
The first was the E24, being derived from the first generation 7 Series, the BMW E23. The E24 was launched in 1976 to replace the 3.0CS & 3.0CSi (E9). In 2003, 14 years after production ceased, BMW released the all new E63/E64 which was available as a coupé and convertible, based on the chassis of the E60 5 Series saloon. Models were the 645Ci (later replaced with the 650i) and the 630i, while the highest performance model is the BMW M6. The third generation F12 and F13 6 Series was released in 2011 for the 2012 model year, sharing a platform and some engines with the 7 Series (F01) and 5 Series (F10), and introducing a four-door coupé (fastback saloon) style.
The BMW 8 Series is sometimes regarded as the spiritual successor to the E24 6 Series, being also available as a "CSi"; however, it had a substantially higher price point and performance than the preceding 6 Series.
The original 6 Series was launched in August 1976 as the successor to the E9 coupés, namely the 2800CS, 3.0CS and 3.0CSi. The new E24 chassis was safer than that of the E9, meeting new crash and rollover standards. This car had a 3210cc engine with 197bhp. In 1978 BMW debuted the 635CSi, with a 3453cc SOHC, 218bhp engine and a top speed of 138mph. The 635CSi could reach 62mph in 7.4 seconds. The early cars were offered with a 5-speed 'dog-leg' Getrag gearbox. A four-speed automatic transmission became a more common option. The Series underwent a significant change with the mid-1982 model; this included a 'normal' pattern 5-speed manual, or the more usual four-speed auto.
In 1984 BMW took the M88/3, a modified version of the M88/1 from the BMW M1 and put it in the E24 chassis, creating the M635CSi, or M6. This had a DOHC 24-valve 3453cc, 286bhp engine, with a top speed of 158 mph. The M6 also had improved suspension, brakes, and a close-ratio manual transmission.
The second-generation 6 Series (E63) was produced from 2003-2010, filling the hole in the line-up left since the end of the 8 Series' production. It is based on the underpinnings of the E60 5 Series. Compared to the 5 Series saloon/touring, the 6 Series coupé /cabriolet has more emphasis on performance as opposed to practicality and it is priced close to the flagship 7 Series saloon.
The third generation BMW F12 (Convertible) and F13 (Coupé) was released as a 2012 model at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show and New York Auto Show. The engine range consists of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. The folding top is still cloth (compared to the E93 3 Series convertible which is equipped with a metal roof). The 640i and the 650i are available with all-wheel drive.
The F06 6 Series Gran Coupe was unveiled in 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It is a four-door saloon to provide a rival to the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS. Initially shown as the Gran Coupe Concept in 2010, which was based on the 2007 CS Concept, the Gran Coupe is available in 640i, 640d and 650i models.