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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

    £30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

    Recruitment Genius: Electronics Engineers / Senior Electronics Engineers

    £25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project