By Veeno Dewan
It was with great pleasure recently, that a brand new 2016 BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe came my way for a recent road test. And what a treat. But hold on there! The 650i is actually a sleek four- door sedan despite the name. Power for the big coupe comes courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that produces an impressive 400 horsepower and 480lb-ft torque at 2,000 rpm. Power is transmitted via BMWs superb xDrive system via a new eight-speed ZF Manumatic gearbox.
The 6’s interior is awesomely kitted out and features every luxury and convenience feature. Materials and workmanship are as usual faultless; the optional ventilated 20-way front seats are armchair soft, yet supportive. Of note is a centre dash console featuring a huge 10.2-inch screen. This displays navigation (standard) in 3-D, plus all other iDrive functions.
On the road, the xDrive equipped tester we drove behaved like a classic Grand Tourer. 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. Safety and technology abound as usual with BMW’s slew of performance aids. The available Dynamic Handling Package brings adaptive dampers, four-wheel steering and Dynamic Drive. A switch on the console offers four dynamic pre-sets (Eco Pro, Comfort, Comfort+, 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’s mild manners giving way to fast acceleration and sustained high speed cruising for hours in the lap of luxury. 0-100 km/h is available in just 4.5 seconds. Of note however is the superb xDrive system that allows for excellent traction in all weather and road conditions. The optional Adaptive Drive system and its active anti-roll bars minimize unwanted body motion. The well set up steering proved to be hyper-precise, while delivering excellent road feel and feedback. With an interior to die for, technology and a feel and quality that’s top class in this sector, the 2016 BMW 650i xDrive is one of world’s best grand touring coupes in my opinion.
2016 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe priced from $101,000 plus options and packages