The 6 Series has standard front seat tall, head-protecting side-impact airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The Viper doesn't offer side-impact airbags or side airbag protection for the head.
The 6 Series has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Viper doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The 650i offers all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Viper doesn’t offer all wheel drive.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 6 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Viper doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The 6 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Viper doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The 6 Series offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Viper only offers a rear monitor.
The 6 Series’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Viper doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
The 6 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Viper doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the 6 Series and the Viper have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
The BMW 6 Series weighs 570 to 1289 pounds more than the SRT Viper. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The 6 Series comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Viper’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The 6 Series comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. BMW will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. SRT doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Viper.
The 6 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Viper’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 6 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. SRT doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Viper.
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 6 Series have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Viper.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 6 Series has a standard 210 amp alternator. The Viper’s 180 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 6 Series has a standard 900 amp battery. The Viper’s 600 amp battery isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the 6 Series second among premium sporty cars in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The Viper isn’t in the top three in its category.
Regenerative brakes improve the 6 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Viper doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 6 Series 640i/M6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Viper doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The 6 Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Viper (18.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 6 Series M6’s standard fuel tank has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Viper (21.1 vs. 16 gallons).
For better stopping power the M6’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Viper:
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 6 Series offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Viper’s largest wheels are only 18-inches in the front and 19-inches in the rear.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 6 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Viper doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The 6 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. SRT doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Viper.
The 6 Series has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Viper doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 6 Series Coupe’s wheelbase is 13.4 inches longer than on the Viper (112.2 inches vs. 98.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 6 Series is .4 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Viper.
For better maneuverability, the 6 Series’ turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Viper’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).
The design of the BMW 6 Series amounts to more than styling. The 6 Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Viper (.365) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 6 Series get better fuel mileage.
The 6 Series has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Viper can only carry 2.
The 6 Series Coupe has 3.4 inches more front headroom and 3.8 inches more front shoulder room than the Viper Coupe.
The 6 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Viper Coupe (16.2 vs. 14.7 cubic feet).
When two different drivers share the 6 Series, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat (memory seat optional for the front passenger), steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Viper doesn’t offer a memory system.
The 6 Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Viper doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The 6 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Viper doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The 6 Series’ standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. SRT does not offer a locking feature on the Viper’s standard power windows.
The 6 Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Viper’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left down on the 6 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Viper can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The 6 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Viper’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 6 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Viper doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 6 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Viper doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The 6 Series’ sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The Viper’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the 6 Series Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Viper doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The 6 Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Viper doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.
When the 6 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Viper’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The 6 Series has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Viper has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The 6 Series has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Viper.
The 6 Series’ optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Viper doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.
The 6 Series’ standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Viper doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 6 Series Automatic offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Viper doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The 6 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Viper doesn’t offer an automated parking system.