2009 Milan Show: BMW Concept 6

BMW previews the sexiest inline-Six ever.

BMW Concept 6 at the 2009 Milan Show

BMW Concept 6 at the 2009 Milan Show

The inline-Six is the engine type that best represents the great tradition of BMW in the automotive world. Indeed, the company has a special touch in developing highly sophisticated inline-Sixes capable of delivering supreme performance with total reliability.

For the first time, the auto icon migrates to the motorcycle shop to provide ultra-smooth motivation for the next-generation super-tourer. The first taste of the things to come was delivered at the Milan Show in the form of Concept 6, a sleek and very impressive prototype that unveiled what this engine will look like: a K1300 Four with two additional cylinders. All six cylinders are canted forward 55 degrees as on the K-bike; cylinder-head design also corresponds.

BMW announced that its inline-Six will be about 4 inches narrower than any previous motorcycle engine of this type. Displacement will be in the region of 1600cc with the same power level of the present K1300S but with torque that is far superior both in peak value and curve profile. How about 96 foot-pounds at 2000 rpm? Maximum power should come at about 9000 rpm—without a single vibration. To find the room needed to rationally route the exhaust system, engine lubrication is by dry sump.

This impressive engine is harnessed in a chassis that also liberally draws from the K1300. Duolever front and Paralever rear suspension are used. Nissin six-piston front brake calipers are teamed with massive discs to ensure the stopping power that such a bike deserves. Styling is pleasant and elegant, if a little ostensive in the arrangement of the exhaust system. Though no dimensions have been released, the bike looks surprisingly compact. Even so, it reminded me of the wild concept bike created by the men at Chrysler around the Viper V-10 engine.