The Bavarian company has priced the 640i coupe from $74,475 and the convertible variant from $81,975. Those figures are each about $9400 less than the V8-powered 650i.
Those unwilling to pay a $4700 per cylinder premium for the 650i will not have to make due with a consolation prize for an engine: the 640i's smooth single-turbo "N55" 3.0-liter inline-six makes 315 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, and its lighter weight should equate to improvements in acceleration and handling.
The 640i does require some compromises, as a traditional manual transmission and BMW's "xDrive" all-wheel drive system are unavailable. Most of the options packages from the more powerful car will be offered, though, and fuel economy should see a slight increase.
Photo by Mark Elias
1.'Six-cylinder 2012...' view