Grand in more ways than one
The idea of a four-door coupe may be lost on some, but not on BMW. Somehow, they've managed to design a vehicle that's cavernous inside but feels small and nimble on the road. From long sweeping lines to tight, taut handling, the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe
is just that: Grand.
There's another thing that's quite grand about the 650i, and that's its price tag. However, in my mind, BMW justified the numbers (and there are many) attached to the Gran Coupe. While it is quite a large vehicle (stretching nearly 16 ft in length), it's the attention to detail that really dragged me into the luxurious stronghold that is the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe.
What is the BMW 650i Gran Coupe?
BMW's 6 Series is a coupe model, and first hit North American soil in the ‘70s. Available as a two-door and later, a convertible, the 6 Series was, and still is, seen as the sportier brother to the 7 Series. Larger in size and with ample power, the 6 Series is the sporty businessman's vehicle of choice.
It wasn't until its third iteration that the BMW 6 Series gained an extra pair of doors to rival the likes of the Audi A7
and Mercedes-Benz CLS
. The Gran Coupe four-door model was first seen in 2012.
While there are a few engine choices available in Europe, we only get one here in Canada, but at least it's a very good power source. The 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe features a TwinPower Turbo V8 that pumps out a glorious 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. One hundred from a standstill happens in just 4.8 seconds. The power in the 650i Gran Coupe is fluid and always there.
Turbo lag is nearly non-existent and the 8-speed sports automatic transmission is a joy to manipulate. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters offer more control, but I rarely used them as the transmission is that quick to respond and functional on its own.
The 2013 BMW 650i starts at $98,800. At the top of the 6 Series lineup sits the M6 Gran Coupe for $127,900. Where does the 650i Gran Coupe fit in? Well, it sits pretty at $99,800 -- to start. BMWs are highly customizable and are made to order. As such, my tester's price rose to a dramatic $131,100 after various packages for seats, sound, and technology were added.
Driving the BMW 650i Gran Coupe
|The 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe features a TwinPower Turbo V8 that pumps out a glorious 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
For a vehicle weighing somewhere in the 4,500lb range, the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe is quite light on its feet. I expected to feel as if I was piloting a small land yacht; instead, I felt like I was behind the wheel of a slightly fatter 3 Series. That's the thing about BMWs; they really are driver's cars (no matter how big the backseat is).
I'll admit, the nose on the 650i Gran Coupe was a little stretched out for my liking (I paid close attention when parking near curbs, etc.). However, as far as handling, cornering and acceleration were concerned, the 650i is an absolute joy to drive -- and the bark from the dual exhaust will keep you coming back for more.
Visibility in the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe isn't the best as the rear window has quite a severe angle; however, the available backup camera will help with that.
|For a vehicle weighing somewhere in the 4,500lb range, the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe is quite light on its feet. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
Inside and out of the BMW 650i Gran Coupe
There's no denying that the 650i Gran Coupe is a big beast of a car. I adore the recessed, angel-eye headlights and bulbous, ferocious nose of the front fascia. A traditional kidney grille and sporty front lip complete the intimidating look that ensures traffic parts in your wake. The coupe line is stunning on the 650i Gran Coupe. Four-door vehicles that can wear the coupe line so well without looking awkward always intrigue me, and the 650i is one such vehicle.
Here's where the little things come to light: From subtle “Gran Coupe” branding below the rear side windows (integrated into the door frame) to “BMW LED” branding in the headlamps, BMW really took a fine-tooth designing comb to the 650i.
Space in the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe is ample front and back, and standard fare is present in terms of amenities (iDrive, heated seats, privacy screens in the rear, Bluetooth, etc.).
Comparing the BMW 650i Gran Coupe
|I adore the recessed, angel-eye headlights and bulbous, ferocious nose of the front fascia. A traditional kidney grille and sporty front lip complete the intimidating look that ensures traffic parts in your wake. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
As mentioned above, the 650i Gran Coupe was released to compete directly with the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. As far as a grand touring saloon goes, I'm not sure the BMW is at the top of the pack; however, when it comes to sporty driving dynamics the BMW has it in the bag.
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