2008 BMW 6-series

#BMW, #M6

For their fifth model year, BMW's big coupe and convertible are getting facelifts. Fans of the 6-series needn't worry because, like the 5-series' facelift for 2007, the changes are so subtle that most people won't notice them. For those of you who aren't fans, well, you're just going to have to deal with another few years of the frumpy Bangle coupe.

Much of the facelift focuses on lighting. The new taillights look familiar, but are now fully LED-illuminated, and the third brake light is now integrated into the spoiler lip. The lower reflectors and reverse lights are longer. Up front, BMW's Angel Eyes now provide Daytime Running Light function, a la 3-series coupe, and the turn signals integrated into the headlights are LED units in an alternating, checker-board layout. The fog lights are mounted further outward to emphasize the car's width.

The vertical portion of the trunklid is more concave than before, two new paint colors will be offered (Deep Sea Blue and Space Grey) and new rims are standard. Cars with the optional, revised six-speed automatic transmission receive BMW's new, controversial electronic shifter. New interior trim colors (Chateau Red and Saddle Brown) round out the visual changes.

Buyers purchasing automatic-transmission 6-series can now specify BMW's Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, which can bring the car to a complete halt, decelerating at up to 0.5g. BMW's lane departure warning system, familiar from the 5-series, is also newly available, and will vibrate the steering wheel if sensors determine that the car is drifting out of its lane.

Finally, BMW has added optional iPod and USB jacks that allow MP3 players to be controlled through the iDrive controller and steering-wheel buttons.

The 6-series remains available in coupe and convertible form as a 650i, with a 360-hp 4.8-liter V-8, or M6, with a 500-hp, 5.0-liter V-10.

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