6 goes with eight

Grand tour­ing takes a rapid turn

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

wheels and a more vis­ceral ex­haust note.

The 4.4-litre petrol V8 in the BMW650i Gran Coupe de­liv­ers 330kW/650Nm, the lat­ter from a low 2500rpm. The new bent-eight fea­tures TwinPower Turbo tech­nol­ogy plus di­rect in­jec­tion and fully vari­able valve ac­tu­a­tion.

The V8 sends those mas­sive out­puts rear­ward via an eight­speed Sport au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, with auto stop­start and Eco Pro mode. Vari­able drive con­trol in­cor­po­rates adap­tive sus­pen­sion, to soften or sharpen drive feel.

The 0-100 km/h dash takes just 4.6 sec­onds. Top speed is limited to 250km/h.

Among the clever tech fea­tures are brake en­ergy re­gen­er­a­tion, electro­mechan­i­cal power steer­ing, an­cil­lary units that op­er­ate on de­mand, de­tach­able air­con­di­tion­ing com­pres­sor, in­tel­li­gent use of light­weight ma­te­ri­als, ac­tive air vent con­trol as well as on-de­mand hy­draulic as­sis­tance for the sus­pen­sion.

The four-door coupe looks more lithe and ath­letic than ear­lier 6 Se­ries ef­forts. It’s a four-seater, with in­di­vid­ual seats for the rear pas­sen­gers plus four-zone air and in­di­vid­ual au­dio con­trols too. The list of stan­dard equip­ment and op­tions is long. A high-end 600W, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound sys­tem pro­vides the ac­com­pa­ni­ment.

Driver as­sis­tance sys­tems in­clude a head-up dis­play with full-colour graph­ics, park­ing as­sis­tant, sur­round view, ac­tive cruise con­trol with the stop-go func­tion, lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tem, speed limit in­for­ma­tion, high-beam as­sis­tant andBMW’s Night Vi­sion set-up with pedes­trian warn­ing.

This is a quick car. The V8 de­liv­ers the goods, thrust­ing oc­cu­pants back in the seat with a snarl when the driver plants the right foot. Yet it flies un­der the radar, fail­ing to at­tract un­wanted at­ten­tion in the way an M3 or M5 might.

VER­DICT

The ex­pres­sion ‘‘ stealth fighter’’ springs to mind. It’s not as overt as some com­pan­ion mod­els but it’s still a real beauty, es­pe­cially with the matt paint job. Hit the go­fast pedal and it takes off.

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