BMW 640d Gran Coupé - First Drive


Engine: 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbo-diesel

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 313 PS at 4,400 rpm

Torque: 630 Nm between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm

Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 49.6 mpg

CO2 emissions: 149 g/km

Top speed: 155 mph (artificially limited)

Acceleration (0-62 mph): 5.4 seconds

Price: £63,900 (6-Series Gran Coupé range starts at £61,390 for the 640i)

What do you get if you stretch the wheelbase of BMW 6-Series Coupé by 113mm and add an extra pair of doors for the rear passengers? According to BMW the answer is not, as you might suppose, a 6-Series saloon but a four-door coupé – or Gran Coupé to give it the name under which it will go on sale in June.

The idea of a four-door coupé isn't a new one. Mercedes didn't really invent the idea, but it certainly produced the first modern car of this type with the original CLS in 2004. Volkswagen came up with a half-price near copy, the Passat CC, and in terms of style, Jaguar's handsome modern four-door cars, the XF and XJ, are also probably more directly comparable with the CLS than with Mercedes' E-Class and S-Class saloons. BMW expects the 6-Series Gran Coupé to compete most directly with the second-generation 2011 W218 CLS, the Porsche Panamera and the Maserati Quattroporte.

Three engine options are offered – a 320PS three-litre petrol straight six (640i), a 450PS 4.4-litre petrol V8 (650i) and a 313PS three-litre diesel straight six (640d). All cars are fitted with eight-speed automatics. The diesel is expected to account for some 80% of Gran Coupé sales – it is already the most popular choice on the two-door 6-Series Coupé and the CLS and Panamera are offered with diesel too.

So what's the 6-Series Gran Coupé like? It feels and drives exactly as you would expect a slightly stretched four-door 6-Series Coupé to feel and drive, which is to say that it is excellent. But let's focus for a moment on the areas where the two-door and four-door cars differ most. Thanks to that stretch in length, the Gran Coupé just breaks the five-metre barrier that marks out really long cars from the rest, and because the new car's growth is concentrated on the wheelbase, it benefits the passengers' legs rather than their luggage. The Gran Coupé's cabin, which shares the two-door's dash and trim, has quite a cosy coupé feel, but there's more than enough space where it counts, thanks in part to a subtly raised roofline.

I drove the 640d and it's easy to see why so many 6-Series buyers plump for the diesel, which is mostly very quiet - except under load, when it emits a slightly deeper version of the traditional BMW six-cylinder engine note without ever sounding unpleasantly rough or dieselly. Performance is very strong – the 640d will get to 100km/h (62mph) in 5.4 seconds, and like the petrol models, is artificially limited to 155mph. BMW has focused heavily in recent years on reducing emissions and fuel consumption on even its sportiest cars under its Efficient Dynamics programme, and the 640d is no exception, achieving an outstanding 149g/km and 49.6mpg in the official tests.

But good as the Gran Coupé is on the road, I suspect that like the CLS it will sell mainly on its looks; after all, the impressive engines and technology these two models embody are available for less money in BMW's and Mercedes' staider saloon ranges. Which is the better car is mainly a matter of taste. The second-generation CLS doesn't cut quite the same dash as the 2004 original but is still far more of an attention-seeker than the Gran Coupé, which should be just the thing for seekers after understated style with £60,000 to spend on their next car.

Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

    £40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor