The Grandest Jack of All Trades
Under the hood, the 640i gets their familiar turbocharged six-cylinder straight, 3.0, attached to a smooth-shifting eight-speed Steptronic transmission and driving all four wheels. Maximum torque of 450Nm is delivered at a low 1,380rpm, and kept excellently within a wide band till 5,200rpm. With 340hp on tap, the GT does 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds. Strangely though, unlike the 540i, the 640i loses the Adaptive shift mode, but that never bothers me.
Power aside, the GT also features their Integral Active Steering system which assists by steering the rear wheels, which turn opposed to the front wheels in tight spaces, and lets the car ‘crab’ when doing minor steering maneuverers like lane switches. BMW added this in for reasons of passenger comfort and assists with important issues like the driving dynamics, and does the intricate work of counter steering the car for you ever so slightly around the bends.
But flick the GT hard into a corner, and you will find that beyond all the fancy systems which are designed to keep the car well sorted out, physics dictates that the weight of that 6 cylinder up in-front will mean that the GT would tend to plough a little into a turn before the front wheels bite.
Then again, the GT is not intended to be driven hard, but more of in a relaxed manner. It really is a car that rewards when you are a little less aggressive with it. One where you enjoy the process of getting there, be it with the Active Cruise Control, keeping your speed regulated on the highway, and slowing down when there is traffic; the self-levelling air suspension doing an excellent job, soaking up the bulk of undulations on the road. And all this, while you enjoy the two available scents which perfume the cabin.
There is this superstitious thing going on with some that an estate car does resemble a hearse, and they would not even consider one… Perhaps an alternative to that, the GT delivers on near estate versatility, and with the four-wheel steering, there is little stress getting this car through tight spaces. Stylistically speaking, it may be a question mark for those who seek comfort with convention, but for those who want something-else-executive. There is the Gran Turismo.