Accelerate

SA's premium automotive magazine

Launch Pad – BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé

Sexy 6 spawned

Richard Macaskill

It’s about damn time BMW did something like this. The Mercedes-Benz CLS started the premium, big, four-door coupé segment way back in 2004. The Audi A7 Sportback followed in 2010, but up until BMW has been sitting this one out. That is, until the launch of the all-new 6 Series Gran Coupé, a four-door coupé aimed directly at the aforementioned rivals.

The new-shape 6 Series, first launched in cabriolet form February last year, is a sexy car, there’s no doubt about that. It had moved away from the sharp, angular and somewhat awkward lines Chris Bangle gave its predecessor, opting for a softer, more sensual look. Things only got better when the coupé was launched a short while later and now, things have taken another step forward. The Gran Coupé may not be the sportiest-looking 6 that honour goes to the regular coupé version), but dare I say, with four doors, it is the most sensual.  Everything about it, from the soft curves to the sweeping roofline and the elegant appeal is just, well, right.

It still holds a sporty presence, but that’s an aside. The 6 Series Gran Coupé, while more than capable of conquering mountain passes with the best of them, is not a car that’s meant to be brash or in your face. No, it oozes sex appeal like hot chocolate dripping from a ripe strawberry immediately after its been immersed in the luxurious liquid. And in Frozen Bronze Metallic, the Gran Coupé brings that analogy even more to life.

But before I get lost in a world of strawberry fields, let me reign myself in. It looks damn good. Done.

Three models are available, namely 640i and 650i petrols and a 640d diesel. The 640i is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbo straight-6 with 235 kW delivered between 5 800 and 6 000 r/min and a useful 450 Nm of torque delivered between 1 300 and 4 500 r/min. This was the only petrol we had the chance to sample on the launch and it’s as impressive as one would expect it to be. The added doors and ensuing weight have done nothing to take away from the engine and it sounds good, pulls well and revs freely and easily. It’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

If you’re after more petrol power, the 650i is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4 litre V8 and has a whack more power and torque, with figures of 330 and 650 respectively. The pick of the bunch for me though? The 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-6 diesel, which is as quiet as refined as anyone could realistically expect a diesel to be. Sure, you can’t rev it like you might a petrol, but it’s as sport and dynamic as it’s petrol counterparts. It boasts outputs of 230 kW and 630 Nm, almost matching the 640 in power and the 650 in torque – it really hauls, this thing.

I find it the best compromise of the two, plus it has the added bonus of decent consumption and emissions figures, which are rated at 5.5 l/100 km and 146 g/km. it’ll still get you to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 250 km/h. Sensual and sensible, I’d say, and one hell of a car.

Pricing
640i   R877 000
650i   Not yet available
640d   R912 400

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