2013 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe: too much is never enough

2012 BMW 640i Grand Coupe

2012 BMW 640i Grand Coupe

Motivation comes in all forms. Some train hard to get in shape for competition. Others study with vigilance to earn a scholarship to an ivy-league college. And some labor at their careers in order to reap the benefits and rewards that come with wealth. Without question, one of those rewards for the latter is the ability to afford any car you want. It should be something that represents your status in life; something that emulates how much effort you exuded to attain your goal. Something that motivated you to reach higher and sacrifice more. Lucky for you, we’ve found your motivation. It’s called the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe.

There’s no doubt BMW is getting a bit into the weeds when it comes to models. For the 2012 6-Series line alone, there’s Coupe, Gran Coupe, and Convertible. The coupe and convertible come in 640i, 650i and 650i xDrive, but the 2012 Gran Coupe was only available as a 640i. For 2013, you also can get the Gran Coupe in 650i and 650i xDrive. So that’s nine different 6-Series products, not including the M lineup.
BMW’s 6-Series Gran Coupe has always been an object of lust, especially when it comes to exterior design. Everything about the previous model is there, just taken a step further — in a good way. First, even though BMW calls it a coupe (that’s pronounced koop-A, for the uninitiated), it’s a four door. But because it’s so sleek, if you just glanced and looked away, you’d swear there were only two. It’s about 4.4 inches longer with about the same in added wheelbase length over the two-door Coupe, and, for comparison, 4 inches longer than the BMW 550i as well as just over an inch wider and close to 3 inches lower. In person it looks long.
The crisply contoured hood length presents itself boldly up front and leads into the classic and more forward-slanted twin-kidney grille. Short front overhangs give it an athletic, powerful presence. BMW designers did a great job making sure it has that “don’t mess with me cuz I’ll eat you” appeal. If you want to step it up a bit, you can opt for adaptive LED headlamps.
Another new design element for the Gran Coupe includes a larger greenhouse with side windows that extend into the C-Pillar. The designers also gave the Gran Coupe a strong shoulder line, flared wheel arches, a fully integrated spoiler and side reflectors to add to the overall muscular look.

For the real spotter’s guide, the differentiators are the edge-to-edge CHMSL in the upper roof, chrome L-shaped blades in the front bumper, and the more obvious Gran Coupe badge behind the rear side window. If you decide to buy the BMW for 2013, be sure to go with a frozen exterior color. It’s a matte finish, but also has a protective coating. The Frozen Bronze is stunning. Just be sure you have someone standing by to hand wash the car for you.

Driving through the gas-station car wash is verboten. Inside, the new Gran Coupe is German luxury: clean design, impeccable quality, and aesthetically comforting. From the Alcantera suede trim to the beautifully stitched dash, there’s nothing that hasn’t been considered and reconsidered by interior stylists. Although a large vehicle, the interior feels cozy; carrying on a conversation with your 4+1 passengers will be effortless. And when you don’t care to listen to the conversation, be sure to get the optional Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound audio system that was designed especially for the 6-Series. B&O is a top audio sound company, and has created a system that can match the top-end system in your multi-million-dollar estate.

As always in a BMW, the controls and center console are canted slightly toward the driver since that’s where the action is, and should be. Ergonomics are good, and the paddle shifters are perfectly placed for the driver to finger through the 8-speed automatic transmission quickly and smoothly. Seats are comfortable and supportive for spirited romps, but if you plan on doing a lot of high-mileage cruising, consider the Luxury Seating Package that adds ventilated multi-contour active seats, sunshades on both the rear and side windows, and a four-zone climate control where rear-seat passengers can control their own thermostatic destinies.

Wanna go a step further? Get the M Sport package that delivers a handful of exterior styling and performance goodies, along with M Alcantera and leather sport seat with blue contrast stitching, M leather steering wheel and other M interior trim. When it comes to connectivity, BMW was one of the first out of the gate with iDrive, and took a fair amount of heat for the complexity of the controls. For those who have no problem with technology, iDrive was never confusing, but the tech savviness of those who could afford the higher-end BMW that iDrive appeared in couldn’t figure it out.

Now that customers have had some time to get used to it, and BMW has continued to improve the system year over year, iDrive provides a lot of information at the fingertips, and shows it on a 10.2-inch display screen. One nit is that while the screen is huge, it’s anchored in the middle of the dash; we wish it was designed to move up and down so it could be tucked away when not in use. To make it even easier for the driver to keep tabs on his world, there’s a new head-up display that offers four-color projection onto the windshield, along with blue and white coloring for easier visibility at night. The HUD also includes a new 3D graphic for junction view.

Another feature for tech-savvy customers is the BMW Connected app that lets you connect to your vehicle through your smart phone and get instant information, such as fuel level, range, mileage, and other items. In addition, using the BMW apps opens up another world for the owner, such as being able to get the latest news from an RSS feed, have tweets read out loud, check calendar appointments, listen to Pandora, and even use the GPS to continue navigation from the vehicle to the smart phone so you can continue on foot to the destination. Gotta love technology!