When considering BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe performance, there’s a trio of turbocharged engine options to choose from. Each is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel and the lowest running costs come courtesy of the 640d, although that’s not to say it’s particularly slow. The engine is a 3.0-litre diesel offering 311bhp and 630Nm of torque.
This is enough to get it from a standstill to 62mph in just 5.4 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. For a sliver of perspective, that’s quicker than a Lotus Elise. Interestingly, BMW has fitted a system to the 640d which amplifies the engine sound into the cabin to provide a more pleasing driving experience and it's fair to say that it sounds absolutely fantastic.
You also have the option of a 640i, which uses a 3.0-litre petrol engine making 318bhp and 450Nm which is the same as the 640d. The most powerful version is the all-new 650i, which has a 4.4-litre V8 engine developing 448bhp and 650Nm, and that’ll get to 62mph in 4.6 seconds - just 0.2s slower than a BMW M5 - with a limited top speed of 155mph. Each model comes with BMW’s Driving Experience Control as standard, which allows the driver to select Comfort, Sport, Sport + and ECO PRO modes.
These change the throttle and engine response as required, along with the severity and speed of the gear changes. This is a quick car and all engine derivatives deliver their power in a linear and unflustered way. It doesn't feel stupidly quick, but as a grand tourer with an extraordinarily smooth eight-speed auto, it's hugely impressive.
There’s a lot of technology on the Gran Coupe’s chassis which serves to make it an excellent driver’s car yet retain a modicum of comfort too. Lightweight materials and a sporty suspension arrangement have conspired to deliver impressive handling, while the speed-dependant power-assisted steering adds a real element of driver involvement thanks to its well-weighted, high-feedback characteristics.
As the Gran Coupe is rear-wheel-drive it performs well even when pushed extremely hard through bends. Only when poking it violently with a particularly big stick can you fluster the chassis, and even then the electronic driver aids cut in to stop you making a complete idiot of yourself. The Driving Experience Control switch allows you to swap between Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and ECO PRO modes to adjust the steering characteristics along with traction and stability control settings as required.
The button for this is perfectly located right near the gear lever so if you want to change the driving setting, you just click it a couple of times. It is a very user-friendly system. Available as an optional extra, BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control is a system that electronically optimises the suspension for the road and driving conditions. You can also specify Adaptive Drive, which serves to keep the car stable and level through high-speed cornering or when you are changing direction quickly.
This is a comfortable car but it responds well when driving along twisty roads: it represents the perfect compromise for drivers who need comfort as well as poise.