BMW breaks into new territory with the addition of a third model to its 6 Series line-up – a four-door Gran Coupe. Will it send Mercedes-Benz’s CLS, the original “four-door coupe”, running scared?
NEW NICHE: BMW enters a new niche with its first four-door coupe, the 6 Series Gran Coupe.
Following the launch of BMW’s new 6 Series Coupe and Convertible earlier in 2011, Munich has revealed the next in a growing list of niche models and the automaker’s first four-door coupe ever.
The Gran Coupe takes the distinctive design profile of a Coupe and melds it into something, BMW says, with a level of practicality not seen before in the premium four-door Coupe segment populated mainly by the CLS and the recently-introduced Audi A7 Sportback.
But typically BMW, its interpretation of this three-box design is low-slung with a long wheelbase, short overhangs, a low roofline and a passenger compartment set relatively far back.
STYLE AND LUXURY
The automaker describes the interior as driver focused but generous enough to allow passengers to travel in a “stylish and luxurious ambience”.
The Gran Coupe’s wheelbase is 114mm longer than the standard 6 Series wheelbase which allows more legroom for rear passengers and folding rear seat backrests to increase the loading space from 460 to 1265 litres. Rather ambitiously, perhaps, it also seats five.
SUMPTUOUS: The leather-clad cabin oozes style and luxury for the driver and its passengers.
As for its power sources, a range of TwinPower turbo engines feature in the four-door’s line-up, including a 235kW straight-six petrol engine in the 640i, a 230kW straight-six diesel engine in the 640d and a 330kW twin-turbo V8 petrol that make an appearance when the 650i is added to the range at a later stage.
All the engines will be mated to an eight-speed sports automatic transmission with standard auto start-stop function and Eco Pro mode to help reduce fuel consumption.
The all-new eight-cylinder will also include BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve timing, while the 650i will be fitted with the automaker’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
TURBO CHARGE: A range of TwinPower turbocharged engines will power the 6 Series Gran Coupe, including a twin-turbo V8 for the range-topper that follows a little later.
The Gran Coupe’s chassis technology includes a double-wishbone front and an integral rear axle, electric power steering and a performance braking system, along with standard dynamic damper control.
Additionally, standard comfort equipment includes power leather seats, climate control, xenon headlamps, 18” alloys and auto-dimming exterior and rear-view mirrors.
Options include adaptive LED headlights, a Bang and Olufsen surround sound system, an M Sport package and options from BMW Individual.
Driver aids include parking assist, collision warning with braking function, lane change and lane departure warnings, high-beam assist and night vision with pedestrian recognition.
CRUISE CONTROL: BMW's 6 Series Gran Coupe twirls into South Africa in 2012.
The 6 Series Gran Coupe will be built alongside the 6 Series Coupe and Convertible, and 5 and 7 Series sedans at BMW’s Dingolfing plant.
It will go on sale in South Africa in the second quarter of 2012.