BMW has always had a knack for taking the good and making it great − turning the 3-Series into the enviable M3 for example. But it also has a knack for taking the great and making it superb, which is exactly what they’ve done with the Gran Coupe.
The 6-Series was already a great car, be it the coupe, convertible or the supreme M6. But the more recent Gran Coupe version is the real daddy of the family − BMW has done the great-to-superb trick again.
The German manufacturer’s first four-door coupe is achingly beautiful. It’s long flowing lines over the car’s stretched bonnet lead up to a lowered roof which falls away at its rear end with aesthetically-pleasing ease.
Inside, the Gran Coupe is typically BMW, with a driver-focused cockpit and elegant sweeping surfaces across the dashboard. The cream napa leather seats, suede roof interior and touches of white ceramic on the doors and centre console add an essence of luxury.
The car’s iDrive operating system is better than in previous models while the sat-nav with 3D imaging is a real joy to use, making a drive down Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road an almost comic book-experience.
The full colour head-up display is perfectly done while a Bang & Olufsen sound system, including a pop-up speaker on top of the dashboard, ensures sound quality is perfect.
On the safety front, park assist, camera-based collision warning and proximity alert when changing lanes are some of the top-of-the-range functions that make the Gran Coupe a difficult car to crash.
In the back − which realistically is two seats rather than three − spacious leg room and viewing through the glass roof gives the element of a chauffer-driven 7-Series.
But as with most BMWs, the real selling point is its engine; its growling, beating heart.
The Gran Coupe 640i uses a 3.0 litre, twin turbocharged engine with high-pressure injection, producing 320 bhp and capable of 0 to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds.
The 650i takes things to a new dimension with its 4.4-litre V8 engine, twin turbochargers and high precision direct injection.
But the figures do not really do it justice. The Gran Coupe is more than just numbers; it has an animal quality about it.
The power sits beneath your foot as if caged in, waiting to pounce before roaring for attention when you unleash the horsepower.
Coupled with a very quick eight-speed, sports automatic transmission, the ultimate driving machine is fully realised in this four door coupe.
Who is this car for then? Where does it sit between the 3, 5 and 7 Series? Well, it doesn’t, it sits on its own.
Whereas the 6-Series was for the driver too old for a 3 but too young-at-heart for a 5, the Gran Coupe opens up a new bracket.
It’s for the businessman who wants to be different. Who wants to drive a 3-Series to work, a 7 once in eyesight of the boss and a 5 when he needs to pick up the kids from school. It’s the ultimate Gran Coupe.