Gran Coupe M Sport
hard you try to save
money, someone will come up with
something to make you spend it on.
BMW is very good at this
out their new 640d Gran Coupe...
WILL YOU WANT ONE? Simple: just look at the pictures and then tell me you don't
fancy wafting around in one; then I can tell you that you're in denial…
At a tad over five metres long from its trademark forward-leaning double-kidney
grille to its rakish tail, the new Gran Coupe (an
elegantly styled four-door coupe) is every inch the grand tourer.
And being a 'big' BMW, the three powerplants on offer are, not surprisingly,
all big-hitters: customers those, that is, with at least £60 to £70K
burning a hole in their pocket can choose between a 320bhp 3.0-litre
petrol six-cylinder (640i: £61,625), a 313bhp 3.0-litre six-pot turbodiesel
(the 640d: £64,130), and a 449bhp twin-turboed petrol-burning V8 (650i: £70,895).
All power units are turbocharged, have mpg-maximising Auto Start-Stop and drive
through a silky-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission; all will run to the
same electronically restricted and politically correct (for Germany) 155mph
the Gran Coupe looks 'the biz' it's a real beauty to behold in the metal.
The bonnet is classically long, like the raked coupe roof capping the four-door
cabin and blending fluently with the rear deck. The flanks are punctuated by
discreetly flared wheel arches packed out with classy 20-inch alloys riding
on low-pro rubber; the sills are low to the ground both hinting at the
Gran Coupe's performance.
A beautifully appointed
cabin thats not just
good-looking and makes
you feel like a million
dollars but is
more spacious than
a slinky coupe has
any right to be...
Swing open the driver's door and drop into the sports seat (upholstered in soft
Dakota leather) and you'll find a beautifully appointed cabin that's not just
good-looking and makes you feel like a million dollars (still worth having today!)
but is more spacious than a slinky coupe has any right to be.
It's not magic; it's not even rocket science BMW have just lengthened
the standard 6 Series Coupe's wheelbase (on which the Gran Coupe sits) to provide
ample legroom for two adults travelling in the individually sculpted rear seats.
For the record, this Gran Coupe is not a 2+2 but a thoroughly practical four-seater
and although the centre rear belt makes it a 4+1, five's a crowd.
This is a BMW, so the driver-orientated dash layout is expected. And welcome.
Noticeably, you sit much lower to the ground, which only adds to the pre-race
'Gentlemen, start your engines' feeling. Everything you need is intuitively
close to hand: the automatic box's selector lever and the iDrive controller
are sited in the long, wide central console separating those in the front and
which reaches through to the back seats. Keyless Go means you only need have
the key fob on your person (or in your handbag) when it comes to entry, starting
A 10.2-inch high-res display, which makes most others look like smartphone screens,
takes centre stage on the fascia. Even more noticeable is the fit and finish
and the tasteful, high-quality trim materials it's seriously first rate
and on a par with the elegant class-leading tailoring you'll find in top-of-the-line
Crystal clear dials add to the stylish ambience and you won't want to let go
of the M Sport steering wheel's good-to-grip leather-wrapped rim. Left to the
Steptronic 'box, gear changes are seamless; if you prefer to take control then
non-slip wheel-mounted satin chrome paddle-shifters are just a finger's-stretch
away. Another well-considered touch: no reflections on bright days from the
front seats (super-fast, bone-warming heat all the way from under your knees
to your shoulders), multi-zone climate control, active cruise control, SatNav,
powerfold mirrors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, power adjustable steering
wheel, every-which-way electrically adjustable seats, automatic hold/electric
parking brake (works seamlessly and an absolute boon in stop-and-go traffic),
self-close doors, one-shot windows and sun blind for the large glass roof, seat
memories (two settings for each front seat) and drive-away locking are, of course,
expected at this level and are, of course, all present and correct.
You wont want to
let go of the M Sport
As too are many other high-end items such as front and rear Park Distance Control,
privacy glass, Head-up display for speed (and, helpfully, the prevailing speed
limit), Parking Assist for auto-assisted parallel parking, and a parking camera
a clever touch is that it's hidden behind the BMW badge on the boot,
which lifts automatically to allow the camera to 'see' whenever you select reverse
gear. Suffice to say you'll be hard pressed to think of anything else you might
need either in creature comforts, entertainment, driver information or driving
and handling aids.
That said, BMW has, very considerately, already done the thinking for you and
if you do want to dip into the options list then there are plenty of boxes for
you to tick. Our press car was laden with 'extras' that bumped up the price
(in the nicest possible way) to £85K. If you can afford this BMW you won't be
buying to a budget, so tick away. What did we say earlier about inviting ways
to spend money? And now would be a good time to remind yourself that, unlike
James Bond, you only live once…
Back to the rear seats they also have grand touring in mind and, enhanced
by relaxing backrest angles, proved to be equally comfortable. The 460-litre
boot swallows more than enough luggage for a couple of couples weekending at
Le Mans or touring Italy's divine Amalfi Coast. Alternatively, fold down the
seatbacks and the load space expands to 1,265 litres and 70-inches long.
With the seats in use, slim but lengthy loads can easily be accommodated using
Sport models come with sports suspension… and I can already hear your question:
Do you need gum shields? No. Absolutely not. Despite riding on large 20-inch
alloys connected to a lowered suspension set-up, the Gran Coupe rides okay.
Firmly: you will know when the Dunlop rubber (245/35 at the front and 275/30
at the rear) goes over cat's eyes, but it's supple enough. And you can cushion
the ride by selecting the softest (C+) comfort setting.
What the standard set
of figures (top speed
& 0-62mph: 155mph
& 5.4 seconds) dont get
over is exactly how
visceral that feels when
it comes from
464lb ft of torque...
about that performance potential. This is a quick car. What the 'standard' set
of figures (top speed & 0-62mph: 155mph & 5.4 seconds) don't get over
is exactly how visceral that feels when it comes from 313bhp and 464lb
ft of torque served up between 1,500 and 2,500rpm.
In real-world driving this means abundant and immediate overtaking punch anywhere,
anytime; yet pulling away can be as silky smooth and hushed as you want it to
However, press down hard with your right foot and the Gran Coupe surges forward,
the gearbox seamlessly running through the eight gears accompanied by a 'means
business' growl that's as gratifying as any potent petrol engine makes.
Dynamically this big, five-metre-long, rear-wheel drive grand tourer is well-matched
to the straight-six powerhouse under its bonnet. Driving modes to match any
mood are never more than a finger press away: choose from mpg-boosting ECO PRO,
Comfort, Comfort+, Sport and full-on sportscar-baiting Sport+ driving styles.
At every step up from ECO PRO, the steering, transmission, throttle and stability
system responses all go up a notch until the appropriately-named Sport+
where you'll get satisfying and unflappable sportscar-grade handling along testing
roads; be they Alpine passes or British Bs.
Equally agreeable is that the 640d's 3.0-litre all-aluminium inline-six cylinder
engine is a refined performer; your friends won't know it's a diesel whether
they're on the inside looking out or on the outside looking in. Good news status-wise
as well as wallet-wise.
Officially, the 640d manages an overall 50.4mpg. With its touring-friendly 70-litre
fuel tank, you could travel getting on for 750 miles before needing to visit
a forecourt. Our earlier review of the 640d,
taking in all types of roads and motoring conditions, recorded 40.2mpg. This
time round we only managed 36.8mpg but then we did spend a lot of time around
town and on snowy roads.
the 6 Series Gran Coupes score is in their ability to cover a huge number of
miles at any end of the speed spectrum on unrestricted autobahns its
natural gait seems to be 100mph while providing luxurious accommodation
for a driver and up to three passengers and at the same time serving up true-blue
(and white check that badge!) driving pace.
Many customers will
sign up for the Gran
Coupe and not just for
its graceful sports
styling, although that
will undoubtedly be
would be terribly un-sporting not to mention the competition, because there
are always rivals for your affections… and your money.
Anybody considering a Gran Coupe would also be able to afford an Audi S7, Mercedes
CLS or a Porsche Panamera an image-enhancing trio all targeting the same
Out-and-out performance drivers may come down in favour of the Porsche; lovers
of all things all-wheel drive will, understandably, be much enamoured of the
Audi; some die-hards who still see the Mercedes-Benz badge as having a classier
aura will go for the persuasive CLS. However, many will sign up for the Gran
Coupe and not just for its graceful sports styling, although that will
undoubtedly be a factor.
For most owners an 'off the shelf' Gran Coupe will be more than car enough,
but individuals who want to take advantage of the various dynamic-enhancing
options to up the 640d's handling game can choose from the likes of Adaptive
Drive (which uses active roll bars to enhance the handling through bends) and
Integral Active Steering that turns the rear wheels as well as the fronts to
further sharpen the already sharp and well-weighted steering.
So if you like your G 'n' T with a twist of zesty lime, then a 6 Series grand
tourer should go down very well indeed. Chin-chin!
BMW 640d Gran Coupe M Sport
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 5.4 seconds | Average test MPG: 36.8mpg
Power: 313bhp | Torque: 464lb ft | CO2 148g/km