2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe Review:
At the risk of sounding emotionally shallow, let’s be honest. What we’re concerned with here is looks.
Under its gorgeous skin, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is, essentially, a 5 Series sedan, sharing 5’s wheelbase and most of its greasy stuff. It’s a Bimmer that, ironically, owes its existence to Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche, three BMW rivals that offer sexy sedans designed to look like coupes. (CLS, A7 and Panamera, respectively.)
BMW wants in on the beauty pageant, so meet the new-for-2013 6 Series Gran Coupe, the first 6 with four doors.
And beautiful it is. Grafting the 6 Series nose onto sedan architecture, Gran Coupe also gets a low roof line, techy LED exterior lighting, a road-hugging stance and a riot of lines, planes and creases that blend together into a harmonious whole. Heck, there’s even an optional eye-popping matte-finish paint job that seemingly glows rather than shines.
It’s a head-turner, and BMW knows it. Consequently, they ain’t givin’ this thing away. If you want one, you’re gonna pay.
Available in two turbo models – 640i, with its 315-hp straight six, and 650i, with a 445-hp V-8 – the cars, both with paddle-shift eight-speed automatics, base roughly at $77,000 and $87,000, respectively.
In addition, our 650 threw in nearly $32,000 in options. Yep, we had a Buick LaCrosse worth of extra-cost goodies, everything from the aforementioned $3,500 paint job to a $3,700 Bang & Olufsen 1,200-watt audio system to a $3,800 Driver Assistance Package that provided nanny-ish help for lane maintenance, blind spot alerting and even parking. Our car’s bottom line was – wait for it – $118,995. Yowza!
On the road, the rear-drive 650i, also available with all-wheel drive, has an inner beauty, with sharp handling, urgent braking and giddy acceleration, all characteristics one would expect from BMW.
It also has some eccentricities. Our car’s 20-inch wheels (yet another pricey option at $1,300) were hugged by extremely low-profile Dunlop performance rubber that sent shock waves to the cabin every time road imperfections were encountered.
Meanwhile, a gas-saving Auto Shut Off feature, which kills the big V-8 at stoplights, vibrates the entire car when the engine kicks on or off. (BMW thoughtfully provides an “off” button for that feature.)
Inside, the three-seat rear bench offers no leg room for the middle passenger. The center console runs from the dashboard all the way to the rear cushion. BMW calls the accommodations 4+1 seating. We called it romantic, because the center passenger, legs straddling the hump, will be developing a meaningful relationship with the console.
But this 650i Gran Coupe is loaded with technology, big on giddy-up (0-60 in 4.4 seconds), gorgeous to behold and priced to be extremely exclusive. For many in the well-heeled class, that’ll be enough.
Dan Wiese is a freelance automotive writer living in St. Louis. He also is a regular automotive contributor to Fox 2 KTVI-TV St. Louis. You can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org