BMW 6 Series 640i Gran Coupe 3.0 Review
Six-ual healing

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
9 Aug 2012
 

BMW turns up the style with its new four-door coupe model and Mercedes CLS challenger, the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Raymond Lai if it has the substance to match its style.

Introduction, styling

The CLS has been an unprecedented success for Mercedes-Benz since it’s launch way back in 2004. The recipe for the CLS was relatively simple and straightforward, really – take the E-Class, give it some curves, a more slippery silhouette and last but not least, reduce the seating capacity from five to four and you’ll get the CLS. Quite why we had to wait almost half a decade later before another manufacturer shamelessly replicates the CLS’ winning formula is beyond my understanding. The manufacturer I’m talking about is of course Volkswagen with its CLS clone, the CC. The CC or Comfort Coupe in VW-speak though, doesn’t compete with the CLS head-to-head, as it is somewhat a more affordable, less premium model.

With the introduction of the Audi’s A7 Sportback last year though, the CLS finally has a direct competitor for the first time in its seven-year history. Now, there’s a third pretender to the CLS’s throne as the de facto premium four-door coupe model out there. Not surprisingly, the new model comes from Mercedes-Benz and Audi’s biggest rival and German counterpart, BMW. The 6 Series Gran Coupe then, is BMW’s answer to the CLS and the A7 Sportback.

BMW’s blueprint for a sleek and svelte looking four-door model first appeared way back in 2007 with the stunning looking Concept CS. BMW had intended to put the concept into series production as a sleeker alternative to the large 7 Series saloon but the financial crisis at the end of 2008 had scuppered plans for the CS to enter into series production. Nevertheless, styling details from the CS made its way into recent models like the F02 7 Series as well as the 6 Series coupe and convertible models. Its links with the 6 Series Gran Coupe though, are even more obvious - the latter features the same silhouette and proportions as the Concept CS.

Outwardly, the Gran Coupe shares both its front and rear fascias with the 6 Series coupe and convertible. At 5007mm in length, the Gran Coupe is a noticeable 113mm longer than the coupe. With its overhangs similar in dimensions to the coupe’s, the additional length is all within the Gran Coupe’s wheelbase. Compared to the 5 Series saloon, the Gran Coupe is 108mm longer. Like the other current 6 Series models, the front end seems to be a modern interpretation of the original E24 6 Series’ shark-like nose thanks to the forward thrusting double-kidney grille in the middle while relatively small headlamps flank the grille on either sides. The svelte rear features L-shaped tail lamps, a design feature that is set to appear in more upcoming BMWs. The Gran Coupe’s additional length over its 6 Series peers gives it an even sleeker and lower silhouette that simply oozes style and elegance. The proportions are simply hard to fault. The Gran Coupe is undoubtedly a gorgeous and stunning looking four-door car that I dare say trumps its closest rivals on the style front. In fact, it’s so pretty that it could well be BMW’s best styling effort in recent memory.

Like the 6 Series coupe and convertible models, the Gran Coupe is available in two variants – the base model 640i tested here and the range topping 650i. The base model can be marked out by the badge on the boot lid as well as the twin circular exhaust tips, with the 650i’s larger trapezoidal shaped ones.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 2979cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 6
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Bore x Stroke (89.6 x 84.0)mm
Power 320bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 450Nm @ 4500rpm
Power to Weight 175.3 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 5.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Coupe
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(5007 x 1894 x 1392) mm
Wheelbase 2968 mm
Kerb Weight 1825 kg
Boot Capacity 460 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs