Friday - - Motoring - @ 5,800rpm

I made a buddy of mine sit in the back of the Gran Coupé and he’s still my buddy. There’s enough room back there, I guess. And it could be ar­gued this car is fairly prac­ti­cal: the boot is ba­si­cally a hatch­back tail­gate so the ori­fice will take large things, and the rear seats split 40:20:40. Seats up, it’ll take just as much load as a 3 Se­ries.

How­ever, some­where in the midst of all th­ese tran­si­tions from a four­door to a two-door back to a four-door, the 4 Se­ries Gran Coupé picked up a few ki­los. You’d think all that hard work would help it shed some, but the 435i four-door here weighs more than the 435i two-door, ob­vi­ously, yet it also weighs 65kg more than the 335i. Now, the whole pur­pose of the 4 Se­ries range was sup­pos­edly dy­nam­ics and per­for­mance, but if you can truly tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween this and the 335i on the move, well hello there Bruno Spen­gler, can you sign this nap­kin please?

It helps that the 3 Se­ries is bril­liant to drive, so tight, taut; lovely rear end that’s never out to get you, even when some in­vis­i­ble spilt diesel on the tar­mac at­tempts to spit you off into the road­side rocks. And so it is with the 435i Gran Coupé M Sport, all com­po­sure, you just know ev­ery­thing is bolted on prop­erly. I’m aware I’m sup­posed to be ob­jec­tive and all, but all of us here at wheels shake our heads some­what star­tlingly at the same im­pres­sion: why is it that ev­ery time you jump out of a ri­val ma­chine and then into a BMW, the Bavar­i­ans just seem to be tight­en­ing those screws a lit­tle bit tighter? Oh, but then there is the 4 Se­ries Gran Coupé’s elec­tric steer­ing. What’s there to say? It’s elec­tric. It sucks.

Rel­a­tively speak­ing, of course. As far as th­ese sys­tems go, it’s bril­liant, if you com­pare it to the mushy pulp you get in an In­finiti or an Audi. BMW’s not on Porsche’s level, but the in­dus­try seems to be get­ting there at least. Let’s let th­ese V1.0s run their course, and I’m sure fu­ture elec­tric steer­ing sys­tems will im­prove. In fact I’m not sure of that at all, I’m just blindly hope­ful.

Some­where in the midst of all th­ese tran­si­tions, the 4 Se­ries Gran Coupé has picked up a few ki­los

The 3.0-litre straight-six tur­bocharged en­gine and that eight-speed ZF gear­box that’s be­ing passed around the in­dus­try like an of­fice sta­pler, they’re a lec­ture in smooth­ness, and the pro­fes­sor is Otis Rush. Wun­der­bar power de­liv­ery, lin­ear, and an evenly sprung throt­tle pedal travel with a pre­cise match­ing be­tween your right toe and the rear wheels. But it’s been a few years now, and I can’t help think­ing there’s so much left in the 3.0-litre – 306bhp feels like merely a shrug of its shoul­ders, like it could han­dle a lot more. I guess that’s what the 425bhp M3 is for.

Look, in sum­mary the 435i Gran Coupé M Sport is good. Re­ally, very good. You want one? Well buy it. I’ll be right be­hind, on your rear bumper in a 50-grand-cheaper 335i, and you won’t shake me.

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