BMW is trying hard to convince us that their new 650i Coupe is a sports car, but I’m not buying it. In fairness, I haven’t been handed the keys to one yet, so I can’t comment on how it drives, but I do know it’s even larger than the outgoing model. The 2010 BMW 6 Series weighed in at 3,814 pounds, and the new car is said to be some 3 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider. Barring the use of ridiculously expensive materials, the new car certainly won’t be lighter and with a longer wheel base I doubt it’ll be as precise as the car it replaces. Let’s drop the whole sports car label right now and call it for what it is: one of the best Grand Touring cars in the world.
The BMW 6 Series has never been about setting the fastest lap time. Instead, it’s about gobbling up the miles from point A to point B in ultimate comfort, at speeds that would give Ray LaHood heart failure. There are four seats, but let’s be honest here: the BMW 6 Series is really about personal luxury for two, not four, occupants. I can’t think of a better car to take from coast to coast, especially if I were trying to break the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash record of 32 hours and 51 minutes. Throw a supplemental fuel cell in the trunk, stuff the back full of Cliff Bars, Red Bull and adult diapers, and I think you have a new record waiting to be set.
BMW calls the car “unparalleled in the premium (coupe) segment”, and I’m inclined to agree with them. Two models will be offered in the US, starting with the 640i, which gets a 3.0 liter inline six good for some 320 horsepower. That’s not a lot to move a car the size of the new 6, but the car still manages the sprint to 100 kph in just 5.4 seconds. Like most German cars, the 640i is electronically limited to a top speed of 155 miles per hour, and BMW is quick to point out that it returns an admirable fuel economy of up to 30.61 miles per gallon based on EU standards. If speed is your thing, you’ll probably want to opt for the 650i, which gets a 4.4 liter V8 good for 407 horsepower and a governed top speed of 155 miles per hour. It gets to 100 kph a half second quicker but has a substantially larger appetite, managing only 22.6 MPG according to the EU cycle.
That makes the 640i the ideal car for a coast-to-coast record run. I’m game if BMW wants to loan me one for a long weekend, as long as they fill both tanks with gas first. I’ll even supply my own diapers.