Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The 6 Series line of BMW’s has always been an enigma. They don’t make many of them and new models are rare. They have always remained rather special coupes that ooze class, sophistication and patrician nobility.
So it was with great pleasure that a brand new 2013 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe came my way for a recent road test and what a treat.
The big 6 Series is available in two versions, a Cabriolet priced at $106,800 and a Coupe. The new 6 Series is now smoother, longer and wider than before. First off our all black tester looked sleek, lithe and athletic. It is indeed a welcome return to the classic long hood short deck profile. It is now trimmed of excess fat and looks less bloated and busier than previous design. Noticeable is the more integrated rear quarters and the signature BMW twin-kidney grilles. The lines seem more cohesive and elegant. The conservative yet classy lines will no doubt attract those customers who were polarized by the Chris Bangle designed cars. Big tasteful looking alloy wheels, tasteful accent and LED headlights add to the glamour.
The 6’s interior is awesomely kitted out and features every luxury and convenience feature you can imagine and then some. The trunk will accommodate the all-important two sets of golf clubs.
Materials and workmanship are as usual faultless; the optional ventilated 20-way front seats are armchair soft yet supportive. Of note is a centre console, which is angled seven degrees towards the driver and features a huge 10.2-inch screen. This displays navigation (standard) in 3-D, plus all other iDrive functions. The instruments, controls and ergonomics are all perfect. The surprise however is the small back seat accommodation for such a big car. At night the cool orange illumination and ambient accent lighting makes for an awesome looking interior. Our tester was finished in tasteful off white leather seats with black double stitched leather trim on the doors and dash. It was an interior as one passenger put it, “made by angels!”
Power for the big coupe comes courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that produces an impressive 400 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 450 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm. Power is transmitted via the rear wheels by a new eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
For the first time BMW’s XDrive all-wheel drive is available and it is possible a six- speed manual transmission will be available later in the 6 Series for the North American market.
On the road, the xDrive equipped tester we drove behaved like a classic Grand Toured. It is all smooth silent cruising until you give it its head. The silky drive train behaves impeccably and it is so hard not to stab the throttle to enjoy the surging thump of torque from the turbo. The engines audio soundtrack is also a delight with a throaty roar and rumbling from the V8 engine and the throaty bark from the exhaust.
Safety and technology abound as usual with BMW’s slew of performance aids.
The available Dynamic Handling Package ($3,900) brings adaptive dampers, four-wheel steering and Dynamic Drive. A switch on the console offers four dynamic presets (Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+). Activating a setting changes the parameters of the adaptive dampers, throttle and transmission mapping, steering effort and stability control.
Sport+ mode offers tighter sharper handling and is entertaining on the right terrain. Comfort eases the ride on long commutes and normal is good enough for everyday driving.
The 650i is no super agile 3 Series, the hefty 2,056 kg weight and size of the car make it more of a supremely fast and comfortable GT in the traditional manner. Its mild manners giving way to fast acceleration and sustained high speed cruising for hours in the lap of luxury.
Of note however is the superb xDrive system that allows for excellent traction and all weather and road condition motoring
Nothing much to complain about to be honest; the back seat could be larger, but then again who really wants to spend time in the back seat of such a wonderful car?
The Cabriolet may offer open top thrills but the xDrive coupe is just sublime inside and out. One of world’s best grand touring coupes in my opinion.
2013 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe priced from $103, 495