For many, the 2010 Gran Coupe concept was just a preview of the 2012 6-Series in a four-door show car, but it has turned out to be a new addition to the BMW line. Its four-door design and 4+1 seating work in tandem with a sloping rear roofline to appeal to German-car fans that have their eyes on the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS. The 2013 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe is 4.4 inches longer than the coupe, which mostly goes to the rear occupants to improve rear-seat comfort.
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Customers in the U.S. will get the two engines also available in the coupe. The BMW 640i Gran Coupe will go on sale first and be powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 315 hp. Later in 2013, the BMW 650i Gran Coupe will debut with 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 and be available in either rear- or all-wheel drive. As a result of adding variable valve timing to the list of specifications of the V-8, the Gran Coupe will produce 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. This is 45 more horsepower and 30 more pound-feet of torque than the same engine in the current 650i Coupe, although we expect the coupe will get the revised engine for 2013.
The difference in weight was not specified by BMW, but we anticipate gains over the already heavy 4,200-pound coupe. Comparing the euro-spec versions of the 640i Coupe and 640i Gran Coupe, there is a nearly 200-pound disparity. This leads us to believe the version coming to America will be close to 4,400 pounds. Despite the increase in weight, the BMW 650i Gran Coupe’s gains in power will equal faster zero-to-62-mph acceleration times of 4.6 versus 4.9 seconds. The contrary relationship between weight and acceleration times continues when you add better traction from the heavy all-wheel drive system. Working off our estimates of 4,400 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive Gran Coupe, the 650i xDrive Gran Coupe should be close to 4,600 pounds but will accelerate to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. For those that don’t desire the extra hustle, the 640i Gran Coupe will run 0–62 mph in 5.4 seconds. Top speed for all Gran Coupes is electronically governed at 155 mph.
They will also share an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Like the coupe, just right of the shift lever are the controls for the Driving Dynamics Control. This allows the driver to pick from Comfort+, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro modes. The system affects tuning of the throttle, power steering, shock absorbers, automatic transmission, and the optional roll stabilization system and steerable rear axle, if so equipped.
Carrying over from the 6-Series Convertible and Coupe is a new hard-to-miss 10.2-inch display sitting front and center and controlled by the infamous iDrive knob just right of the gear selector. It controls the car’s various optional driver technologies including Surround View via five well-placed cameras around the car, night vision with pedestrian recognition, parking assist (like Lexus’s parallel-parking feature), blind spot warning, and a warning system for unintentional lane changes. Another noteworthy item is the full-color 3-D graphics portrayed on the windshield via the heads-up display.
An M Sport package will be available at launch. It features an aerodynamics body kit, sport exhaust including black chrome exhaust tips, black-painted brake callipers, LED foglamps, and 19-inch wheels in M double-spoke design. The sporting theme continues inside the car in the form of special M Alcantara/leather sports seats with blue contrast stitching, M leather steering wheel, aluminum trim, and doorsill with M logo.
The BMW 640i Gran Coupe arrives in the U.S. early in the summer of 2012 and will be followed by the 650i Gran Coupe and 650i xDrive Gran Coupe later that summer. Official pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
by Benjamin Greene
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