Like other members of the emerging class of coupe-styled luxury sedans, the BMW 650 Gran Coupe promises four-door convenience and interior room without giving up an inch of looks or performance. It's an ambitious mission that only the most exclusive brands have attempted.
At 4,500 pounds, the Gran Coupe is not to be mistaken for a dedicated performance car. It's a high-style tourer that's loaded with indulgences and happens to be very fast. All 650 models carry a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, good for 445 horsepower, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The big four-door makes the dash to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, about as quick as you can get in something this size.
To keep all that thrust and weight in check, BMW offers what it calls Driving Dynamics Control, a system that allows the driver to select driving modes (Comfort, Sports, Eco Pro) that adjust the car's steering, throttle, suspension and transmission for optimal performance. BMW's competent xDrive all-wheel drive system is also available at extra cost.
The Gran Coupe rides on 116.9-inch wheelbase, 4.5 inches longer than the two-door coupe's. Overall length is greater by 6 inches, all of it going to the rear passenger compartment. Even so, the front console extends so far back that the middle seat is fairly useless. As long as there are just two in the back, they'll be spoiled by the room and appointments. The Gran Coupe wears its extra length with dignity on the outside. Many luxury cars claim to be big and beautiful at the same time, but the BMW really means it. Shoppers looking for sheer visual impact that doesn't wear off should add this car to their list, pronto.
Packages are available to help buyers personalize their cars with extra-cost woods, leathers and color schemes. Interesting options include four-wheel steering, glazed ceramic interior controls, automatic soft-closing doors, and a BMW-issue ski bag.
The 650i's natural competitor is the Mercedes CLS-Class, which offers a twin turbo of its own, albeit with 402 horsepower, and a somewhat lower sticker price. Porsche's four-door Panamera is priced in the same league as the Gran Coupe, but is skewed more toward all-out performance than high-class touring. Some lower-rung players (Audi A7, Mercedes E-Class, Cadillac CTS) can be optioned well enough to be credible alternatives for buyers who want something more conservative in looks and price.
In addition to its twin-turbo engine, the 650i receives of few pieces of exclusive standard equipment: 19-inch wheels, 12-speaker surround sound and 16-way power seats.
Beyond that, BMW offers several option packages. The Driver Assistance Package adds blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, speed limit data, and side- and top-view cameras. Selecting the Executive Package gets you self-closing doors, ventilated and massaging front seats, leather dashboard coverings, ceramic knobs, a head-up display, and smartphone integration. The M Sport Package includes 20-inch wheels, suede-like headliner, a sport steering wheel, and an aero body kit.
There's also the Lighting Package with full LED exterior lights and automatic high beams, and the Cold Weather Package with a heated steering wheel and ski bag.
xDrive models are additionally equipped with BMW's sophisticated all-wheel drive system for superior traction on slick or uneven road surfaces. The system continuously monitors road conditions and splits engine power between the front and rear wheels for maximum traction. This setup reduces the risk of skidding in turns, spinning out when accelerating, and otherwise leaving the road unintentionally. Expect to give up about 1 mpg versus the rear-drive 650.
Build and price your dream BMW 650 Gran Coupe in just a few easy steps.
|Build & Price|
Legitimate Porsche performance with four doors, stiff price when equipped
Commendable styling and athleticism, lacks a few horsepower
Vintage race-car styling and sumptuous interior, a bit tight on the inside
Top performance at a lower price, lacking in refinement