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Volvo Ponders New Luxury Sport Coupe 4
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Coupes, Kurt, News, VOLVO, Volvo C90 on 06 4th, 2012

Volvo's current C70 hard top convertible. Image: Volvo

Back before the current Volvo C70 was offered in its present retractable hardtop configuration, it was built as both a coupe and convertible. Many (ourselves included) favored the smooth lines of the C70 coupe over the arched roof of the hardtop convertible, but the financial advantages of producing a single model instead of two ultimately won out.

The aging C70 won’t see a new version, and its demise may create an opportunity for Volvo to design a new, larger personal luxury coupe to tackle the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and the BMW 6 Series. As Inside Line says, the Volvo C90 model will likely form the basis for a new convertible, but it isn’t clear if the car will be designed from the ground up as such.

Look for Volvo to use its Scalable Platform Architecture layout, likely shared with the next Volvo S80. As the Swedish automaker has renounced six and eight cylinder engines, power would come from a forced-induction four, in both gas and diesel variants.

If the C90 gets a green light for production, don’t expect to see it on the trade show circuit before 2015 or so, which means that a production model is still four or five years off.

BMW’s New 6 Series Coupe: The King of GT Returns From Exile 14
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, BMW, BMW 6-Series, Coupes, featured, Grand Touring, News on 03 14th, 2011

Image: BMW

BMW is trying hard to convince us that their new 650i Coupe is a sports car, but I’m not buying it. In fairness, I haven’t been handed the keys to one yet, so I can’t comment on how it drives, but I do know it’s even larger than the outgoing model. The 2010 BMW 6 Series weighed in at 3,814 pounds, and the new car is said to be some 3 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider. Barring the use of ridiculously expensive materials, the new car certainly won’t be lighter and with a longer wheel base I doubt it’ll be as precise as the car it replaces. Let’s drop the whole sports car label right now and call it for what it is: one of the best Grand Touring cars in the world.

Image: BMW

The BMW 6 Series has never been about setting the fastest lap time. Instead, it’s about gobbling up the miles from point A to point B in ultimate comfort, at speeds that would give Ray LaHood heart failure. There are four seats, but let’s be honest here: the BMW 6 Series is really about personal luxury for two, not four, occupants. I can’t think of a better car to take from coast to coast, especially if I were trying to break the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash record of 32 hours and 51 minutes. Throw a supplemental fuel cell in the trunk, stuff the back full of Cliff Bars, Red Bull and adult diapers, and I think you have a new record waiting to be set.

Image: BMW

BMW calls the car “unparalleled in the premium (coupe) segment”, and I’m inclined to agree with them. Two models will be offered in the US, starting with the 640i, which gets a 3.0 liter inline six good for some 320 horsepower. That’s not a lot to move a car the size of the new 6, but the car still manages the sprint to 100 kph in just 5.4 seconds. Like most German cars, the 640i is electronically limited to a top speed of 155 miles per hour, and BMW is quick to point out that it returns an admirable fuel economy of up to 30.61 miles per gallon based on EU standards. If speed is your thing, you’ll probably want to opt for the 650i, which gets a 4.4 liter V8 good for 407 horsepower and a governed top speed of 155 miles per hour. It gets to 100 kph a half second quicker but has a substantially larger appetite, managing only 22.6 MPG according to the EU cycle.

Image: BMW

That makes the 640i the ideal car for a coast-to-coast record run. I’m game if BMW wants to loan me one for a long weekend, as long as they fill both tanks with gas first. I’ll even supply my own diapers.

Source: BMW