BMW 640D Gran Coupe – an indulgent extravagance that’s worth every penny
- 16 September 2012
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The ultimate fantasy BMW would have the power of an M5, the comfort and luxury of a 7-Series, the looks and desirability of the Z4 and the economy of a 316D.
Well fantasy has just became reality … so feast your eyes on the all-new Gran Coupe.
For the first time in recent years the Bavarian outfit have built a coupe that doesn’t defy logic.
Anyone remember the X6?
A vehicle so ugly and bizarre that I still find myself scratching my head in bewilderment.
Thankfully the elephant in the room of “who the bloody hell is going to buy this car?” doesn’t arise.
Everybody will want one – why wouldn’t they?
Take a moment to savour what can only be described as an absolutely magnificent piece of automotive engineering – by far the best car BMW have ever made.
In fact, it’s more than a car – it’s simply all things to all men, women, and for the first time in coupe history, kids too.
You see, it has the drive and excitement of a full-on roadster with the space and accessibility of a luxury saloon.
It forgives all the sins of the original 6 Series (two door).
Yes, it had desirability in spades, handled like she was on rails and had all the trappings of luxury and comfort.
But it lacked the one thing we all need these days – versatility and that smidgen of practicality.
Unfortunately she was a one-trick pony, even if that pony was a pure thoroughbred.
So if you think that this is a 6 Series with an extra set of doors, then you’d be very much mistaken.
I don’t think a single panel, screw, nut or bolt hasn’t been given the once-over and nobody does once-overs like BMW.
For starters it’s longer by 113mm and lighter thanks to the frameless aluminium doors giving the designers room to accentuate the super sleek styling.
The GC gets the ‘shark nose’ off the Z4 which is complimented by the double pentagon Xenon headlights and the three part air vents makes it look like its crouching, ready to pounce.
The rear has seen the biggest overhaul and pretty much all of the Chris Bangle touches have been re-sculpted to give it a more aggressive look and more in line with the rest of the fleet.
It shares the L-shaped tail lights as the 7 and 5-Series and she gets a J-Lo silhouette with much wider hips, and a swooping brake light strip which runs the full length of the curved roofline.
The hulking 16 and a half foot long and 6 foot 10 inch wide chassis is sitting and the most spectacular 20 inch alloys.
Inside it’s as luxurious as a penthouse suite with soft leather, double stitching and brushed aluminium at every touch.
She is loaded with state-of-the-art technology too including sat nav on a 10 inch monitor, two side and one rear colour reversing cameras, cruise control, heated seats, Bluetooth, DVD/player and Drive Performance Control which allows you to select different throttle, gearbox and suspension settings.
That technology is what sets the 640D apart from any other diesel I’ve ever driven – trumping the until now unbeatable 535D.
Under the hood beats the heart of a real beast with the 3.0 litre, twin turbo, V8 churning out a blistering 313bhp.
The torque and raw power is savage and a sprint from 0-100kph will take just over 5 seconds.
It has a restricted top speed of 250kph which tallies with the clock which redlines at 300.
All that performance and power from a hulking giant weighing just over 1.85 tons.
And that extra meat has no bearing on the ride as its as agile and controlled as a Mazda MX5 but you need to be conscious of the extra length and her sizable booty.
But the biggest surprise of all is the economy.
We’re talking M3 performance with C3 costs.
Yes, this rocket ship is capable of almost 51mpg or 1,300kms on a single tank of fuel and annual road tax of just €330.
Now the versatile bit.
For the first time the 6 Series comes with folding rear seats which means the 450 litre boot can now accommodate 1,265 litres of luggage – or enough for a couple of overnight bags and possibly a buggy – a golf buggy of course.
Price will rule out young families and even if you could afford it you’d be hard pushed getting three in the back.
It’s clearly a four-seater but BMW have fitted three seatbelts in the rear despite the fact that there is no room for the extra passenger.
That said, I doubt the “2.4 kids” is the target market here.
Nope, the GC is a car for the connoisseur, who appreciates the finer things in life and who won’t entertain the fact that the similar Audi A7, 3.0 litre Quattro is almost €20k cheaper.
He might though tut-tut at the fact that the rear fly windows don’t retract (a bit odd on a Coupe) but would still be adamant, like me, t that it’s worth every single penny.
The starting price of the BMW Gran Coupe is €97,960 or in theUK£61,390.
– PHILIP HEDDERMAN