The 2013 BMW 650 Gran Coupe is the German marque's latest entry in the ever-growing market of big, fast luxury sedans. It's available in two trims, the rear-wheel drive 650i ($87,300) and an all-wheel drive 650i xDrive ($90,200).
The Gran Coupe shares its chassis and driveline with the venerable 5-Series. BMW's 4.4-liter V8, producing 440-horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, propels this bulky 4,400-pound four-door from 0 to 60 in about 4.5 seconds. Thanks to BMW's Valvetronic Variable Valve Timing, direct injection and start/stop feature, the Gran Coupe achieves a respectable 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
The Gran Coupe's wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than the regular 6-Series coupe, although it seems even larger than that at first glance. Exterior styling of this car is upscale and attractive; its sloping roofline and aggressive stance take direct aim at specific competitors: the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS.
The leather interior is beautifully appointed, yet another example of BMW's famous German precision. The driver's position is excellent, with intuitive placement of the high-tech shift knob and iDrive controller. BMW describes the Gran Coupe as a "4+1" configuration: two seats up front and two in the back with a small patch of leather and a seat belt in between. It seems that BMW should replace the useless "+1" with a console à la the Porsche Panamera.
The Gran Coupe has plenty of available technology, especially if you're willing to pay for it. The navigation screen is a full 10-inches wide, for instance, and a fantastic Bang and Olufsen sound system is available -- but brace yourself for its $3,700 cost.
In base trim, the rear-wheel drive BMW 650i Gran Coupe features a 4.4-liter 440-horsepower V8. Thanks to the car's front multi-link and rear-wishbone suspension -- along with relatively light steering -- the Gran Coupe doesn't feel as large as it looks. Wonderfully appointed, this is as nice a sedan as you can buy today.
If rain or snow might hamper your enjoyment of a large BMW, the the all-wheel drive 650i xDrive is for you. Otherwise identical to its rear-wheel drive sibling the 650i Gran Coupe with xDrive normally operates with power delivery set to a 40:60 front-rear split. If you lose traction, however, the system the system senses the problem and sends power wherever it's needed.
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