2015 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe

The 6-Series Gran Coupe is a sleek sedan with a coupe-like roofline that slots between the more formally styled 5-Series and 7-Series models in BMW's lineup. Closely related to the two-door 6-Series Coupe, the Gran Coupe offers a pair of potent turbocharged engines, the latest luxury and tech features and a choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive.

Overview
Visually, the Gran Coupe is essentially a normal 6-Series Coupe with an extra set of doors - and that's no bad thing. The major details, such as the flowing hood creases that converge on the BMW badge, the wide kidney grille and the sinking character line aft of each front wheel, all work harmoniously together to create a look that is at once athletic and elegant.

The cabin also bears a marked similarity to the two-door 6-Series. The center console is canted slightly towards the driver and features relatively few buttons (the latest version of iDrive controls entertainment, climate control and nav), a leather dashboard with French stitching flows into the central armrest and a no-nonsense instrument panel highlighted by a simple speedometer and tachometer greets the driver from behind the steering wheel. Unlike other BMW sedans, the Gran Coupe can be had in a variety of relatively outlandish interior color combinations, befitting its more extroverted nature.

With a wheelbase stretching 4.4 inches longer than its two-door sibling, the Gran Coupe boasts a healthy amount of rear seat legroom. Unlike some other players in the four-door-coupe segment, the Gran Coupe can accommodate three passengers in back.

Potent Powertrains
Three models are on offer: a twin scroll turbo six-cylinder model badged as the 640i and a twin-turbo V8-powered version offered as the 650i and all-wheel-drive 650i xDrive.

The 640i makes use of BMW's N55HP coded six-cylinder, which features the company's TwinPower Turbo tech with direct injection and variable valve timing. Officially, it puts out 315 horsepower between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm and 330 lb-ft. of torque from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm.

BMW says the engine allows the car to hit 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds before it tops out at a governed 155 mph. Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

To make the 650i, BMW shoehorned in its N63 4.4-liter V8, which receives some upgrades over the standard 650i coupe with BMW's latest variable valve timing system. It cranks out 445 horsepower between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm - that's a 45 pony jump - and 480 lb-ft. of torque between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm - a 30 lb-ft. increase.

The added power gives rear-drive 650i models a 0-62 mph sprint time of just 4.6 seconds, while fuel economy checks in at 17/25 mpg. Interestingly, the xDrive version is actually slightly quicker to 62 mph - it requires 4.5 seconds, despite some additional weight. There is a one-mpg penalty in each of the EPA's two testing cycles, however.

Regardless of engine, BMW will offer the 6-Series Gran Coupe with an eight-speed automatic that can be ordered with a launch control function. A manual transmission is not currently on its options list.

To save fuel, both engines feature auto start/stop and electric power steering.

Ultimate Driving Machine
BMW says its 6-Series Gran Coupe is more than just a looker thanks to a lightweight aluminum double wishbone/multilink suspension setup. An optional Active Roll Stabilization system works with the standard Dynamic Damper Control to limit body lean in corners. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels with runflat tires are standard, as is a Driving Dynamic Control switch that offers Comfort+, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro modes at the touch of a button. Each mode offers a different driving experience tailored to the user's demands.

Also available is an Integral Active Steering System that allows the rear axle to take part in the steering process, allowing for greater high-speed stability in addition to a tighter turning circle in parking and city use.

Standard and Optional Features
The 6-Series Gran Coupe comes standard with leather upholstery, a navigation system with a 10.2-inch display, voice command functionality and 20 GB of storage space, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, dynamic cruise control, a rear-view camera, a nine-speaker, 205-watt AM/FM/CD stereo system with HD radio and a USB input, a sunroof, a proximity key, xenon headlights, LED foglights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Available on the options list of the Gran Coupe are technology items such as a Surround View parking camera system, Parking Assistant, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, a Lane Departure Warning System and Active Blind Spot Detection along with the BMW Head-Up-Display. The latest incarnation of this system projects vital information onto the windshield in full color. For audiophiles, the Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System provides what BMW describes as "a feast of aural pleasure seldom experienced inside a car."

Those looking to add an extra bit of aggression to their Gran Coupe can select the M Sport package, which brings an M aerodynamics package with uniquely designed front fascia, side skirts and rear fascia. The M Sport package also includes exhaust tips in black chrome, black-painted brake callipers, LED foglamps, a sports exhaust system for the BMW 650i Gran Coupe and 19-inch light-alloy wheels in M double-spoke design. 20-inch light-alloy wheels in M double-spoke design are also available as a package upgrade.

A newly available M Sport Edition package builds on the normal M Sport package by adding extra features at no extra cost. It decks out the interior with a Nappa leather dashboard and a head-up display. Opt for the 650i and BMW will throw in a handful of extra safety and driver assistance systems, including Active Driving Assistance, Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, Side and Top View Cameras and Speed Limit Info.

Outside, M Sport Edition models receive adaptive LED headlights and an available Sakhir Orange metallic paintwork, which was previously available only on hard-core M models like the M6 and M5.

Occupant Safety
All Gran Coupes come outfitted with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to stability and traction control systems and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Also included is Active Protection, which tightens the seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof if it detects an imminent crash. Afterwards, it automatically applies the brakes to reduce the likelihood of a second collision.

For longer journeys, an Attention Assistant feature evaluates the driver's control inputs and issues an encouragement to rest if it detects signs of fatigue.

Key Competitors
As a so-called four-door-coupe, the 6-Series Gran Coupe faces competition from the sporty Audi A7, the Porsche Panamera and the slightly larger Jaguar XJ as well as the car that created the segment, the Mercedes-Benz CLS.