BMW has introduced a new version of its 6-series coupe and convertible model line – the 630i – with what is claimed to be the world’s lightest six-cylinder engine under the bonnet.

The all-new three-litre straight-six has the firm’s Valvetronic technology and is made from magnesium and aluminium composite.

The new engine, soon to appear in other BMW model lines as well, develops 258bhp at 6,600rpm, up 12% compared to the current 3.0-litre petrol unit. Maximum torque is 300Nm, available from 2,500rpm to 4,000rpm. The redline starts at 7,000rpm.

In the 630i, this delivers a zero to 62mph (100km/h) acceleration time of 6.5 seconds (6.7 seconds with automatic) in the coupé and 6.9 seconds (7.2 seconds) in the convertible. Top speed on all versions is limited as usual to 155mph. UK market fuel consumption figures are 31.4mpg (29.7mpg) for the coupé and 29.4mpg (28.5mpg) for the convertible, a 12% increase in efficiency compared with the previous engine.

The new lightweight motor also features the world’s first electric water pump.

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The 630i will be available with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes or a sequential manual gearbox and has 17-inch light alloy wheels fitted with 245/50 R17 tyres. It is up to 130kgs less than a 4.4-litre V8 645Ci.

Little distinguishes the 630i from the 645Ci. Badges aside, the 630i’s chrome-plated exhaust pipes are round rather than oval, while the radiator grille slats have been de-chromed. A full leather interior is standard.