Over the course of an average Gear Diary calendar year, I drive more than 80 new vehicles for review. During that time, there are many vehicles I will not shed a tear over when it is time to relinquish the keys, as they’ve fallen just a bit short of making any sort of emotional connection with me.
And then there is the BMW 650i Coupe.
“I can’t find the keys;” “BMW called and said I could just keep it;” “The dog ate my homework.” (Wait, saving that last one for school this week. Sorry.)
Alas, the week was over all too quickly, and the third-generation 6-Series Coupe goes on to the next journalist but leaves a lasting impression with this one.
The 650i Coupe from BMW is more than just a sedan with two doors removed. It screams, “This is a driver’s car, one that drives as good as it looks.” Not having to include rear doors allows designers a cleaner canvas to truly strut their creative stuff.
Sure there is a down side to owning a two-door vehicle: The doors are longer, so more care has to be taken in parking lots and crowded garages, and some acrobatic skill is required to access the rear seats. That said, to most coupe owners the rear seat area is just somewhere else to throw your briefcase or backpack.
BMW made over the 6-Series for 2012 giving the car a more fluidic design while adding a host of new technology inside. The new car is wider than its predecessor to enhance not only its powerful image but improve its road handling as well.
Powering the 650i is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine spinning up some 400hp and 450 lb. ft. of torque capable of sprinting the Coupe 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Top speed is “nannied” down to 155 mph, and drivers can choose either a six-speed manual gearbox or BMW’s 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. Ours came with the latter.
The 6-Series chassis is solid, and thanks to systems such as Active Roll Stabilization and Dynamic Damper Control, there is almost no rocking and rolling in this road warrior – until you crank up the new audio system, but more on that later.
The 650i Coupe also offers Integral Active Steering featuring a steerable rear axle but we did not have that feature on the vehicle we tested.
Dynamic Stability Control helps keep the 650i on its intended path and combines such systems as ABS, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Start-off Assistant and brake drying and brake fade compensation functions. Pretty dynamic, eh?
Our tester ran on 20-inch performance rubber wrapped around stylish multi-spoke alloy wheels. Fuel economy rolled in at 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Could the new 6 be any more dynamic? Of course, thanks to Driving Dynamics Control. This system offers drivers the choice of driving modes ranging from COMFORT to all-out SPORT+. These settings individually adjust throttle response, steering boost, shock absorbers, shift characteristics, and roll stabilization. It probably goes without saying I spent most of my time in SPORT+ mode and all I have to say about that is…DAMN.
Inside the new 6 is a driver-oriented cockpit that features a host of new technology to add safety and convenience to the driving experience. Right off occupants will notice the new 10.2-inch central display monitor at top center dash. The unit is fixed and displays all information from the car’s (improved) iDrive technology.
An optional Head-Up Display system is available in the 650i, giving drivers all necessary information at road level in front of them including navigation guidance info, messages from the lane departure warning system, and warnings from the night vision system in addition to the usual speed and other basic vehicle information.
The 6-Series Coupe is not for everyone – especially at this price point of just under 100 grand where our loaded tester arrives – but demonstrates there are automakers out there still committed to the ultimate driving experience for the discerning motorist.