As if improving upon the 6 Series was even possible, BMW has changed the game with the addition of the four-door Gran Coupe – which bridges the gap between the large 7 Series and smaller 5 Series sedans. The low roofline and sleek styling earn its coupe designation, a name typically reserved for two-door cars.
The new Gran Coupe is offered in three models. The TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder BMW 640i Gran Coupe is the initial model, with an MSRP of $76,895. The TwinPower Turbo V-8 BMW 650i Gran Coupe and the all-wheel drive BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe are priced at $87,395 and $90,395 respectively. Not exactly entry-level pricing, but the GranCoupe flirts with supercar status and can easily run in the pack with Maserati and Bentley.
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is in keeping with the tradition of the 6 Series Coupe, providing a combination of sporting driving dynamics, stunning design, luxurious touring comfort and now seating for four passengers. It delivers the BMW signature driving experience, which it compliments nicely by a range of driver assistance systems and BMW ConnectedDrive infotainment features. The new car meets my highest expectations of driving pleasure, all in a package that is drop-dead gorgeous.
The beauty lies on the outside and the interior, but the beast is under the hood. The powerful engine and eight-speed automatic transmission are an amazing combination of power and control that kept a grin on my face with every mash of the throttle. The new BMW 650i Gran Coupe completes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The interior of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe reveals the driver-focused cockpit design typical of the brand and a luxurious ambience for all those on board. The central section of the instrument panel is angled slightly towards the driver and the gear selector for the automatic gearbox, the Driving Experience Control switch and the activation button for the parking brake are all positioned on the surface of the center console which opens out towards the driver.
The standard Navigation System Professional and iDrive operating system come with 10.2-inch high definition display bordered by a galvanized chrome surround. The interior is bristling with technology, including the coolest heads-up display I’ve ever seen. This system projects key information onto the windshield in front of the driver like all HUD systems, but it also projects the full navigation instructions from the navigation system, keeping your eyes on the road.
Long horizontal lines extending all the way through the interior create a visual link with the second row of seats, showcasing the size of the interior. The elegant lines of the door trim, familiar from the other BMW 6 Series models, continue into the rear compartment,
For this test, I opted to drive the M Sport package, developed specially for the Gran Coupe. It adds a number of M-exclusive features, including an aerodynamics package, exhaust tips in black chrome, black-painted brake calipers, a sports exhaust system for 19-inch light-alloy wheels and other nice touches.
In all, the new BMW 6 Series GranCoupe is big step up from the 5 Series upon which the car is built. The 6 Series in general is the sweet spot in the whole BMW range, making the 5 series look a bit awkward and the 7 Series too big. Of the whole test, I found a few things a bit annoying, like the overly-complex gear-shifting, and some controls (like for iDrive) too small.
The main rival of the GranCoupe is the Mercedes-Benz CLS, but the similarities end with styling, as the GranCoupe outperforms the CLS in most categories. For more information about the 2013 BMW 6 Series GranCoupe, see your local BMW dealer or visit bmwusa.com.
By Vince Bodiford