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2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe: Addition of V8 and xDrive Impresses

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Positive noise emanating from the addition of a V8 engine to the 6 Series Gran Coupe roster should have BMW aficionados shouting from the hilltops. After recently driving the four-door coupe at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during BMW’s 2013 performance introduction I was left with utter excitement over the motor’s capabilities and efficiency.

BMW unveiled the competent V6 powered 640i Gran Coupe earlier this summer with much praise from media and Bimmer enthusiasts alike. Both the 650i and 640i are identical outside of their power plant, so we will expound further on the expectations of the 4.4-liter, which is really hitting the bull’s eye. Power the ignition and the German performance sedan howls with authority. Put the transmission in gear, press the pedal with subtlety, and remain calm since the 650i provides the authority. Initial acceleration is reminiscent of an M6 and handling is superb.

Since the latest member of the family began life early summer, now expect BMW to welcome the 650i this fall. Additionally, xDrive all-wheel drive has been added to the Gran Coupe line. xDrive offers 60% rear and 40% front traction during normal driving and automatically sends power to the wheel (s) with grip. Currently Automotive Rhythms has a 2012 650i xDrive in the fleet and it not only garners attention due to its AWD status, but the safety and performance technology adds much more confidence from the driver’s position; especially in the rain. No longer do you have to park your sports car for brutal East Coast winters. I would suggest replacing any summer tires however. Moreover, AWD racecars are some of the best in the business. For example, the 650i xDrive runs 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds while the 650i hits it in 4.5 seconds. Get the point?

If you have not experienced BMW’s current line-up of TwinPower engines then you need too. Both the 315-horsepower 6-cylinder 640i and 445-horsepower 8-cylinder 650i have received BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. Yet, whereas the 640i uses a singular turbo but twin scrolls, the 650i has twin turbos for optimal acceleration. These engines are both extraordinarily fluid and breathe easy. Coupled with TwinPower is the 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission with BMW’s automatic engine start/stop function to help preserve fuel economy. The 4.4-liter is 45 horsepower stronger than the prior generation 4.4-liter — which powers our 650i Coupe — and achieves its climax between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm. Its torque of 480 lb-ft is reached between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm, which represents a 30 lb-ft increase over the prior 4.4-liter. BMW also added its VALVETRONIC variable valve timing technology to the new 4.4L.

BMW altered the Gran Coupe in many areas to ascertain it not only overachieved in the field of dynamics but also remained as fuel efficient as possible. Owners can expect 17-city mpg and 25-highway mpg in their 650i. A few enhancements to BMW EfficientDynamics were targeted towards the vehicle’s Brake Energy Regeneration function; engine Auto Start-Stop; and ECO PRO which was affixed to the Driving Dynamics Control.

Implementation of specific performance enhancements is attributed to the likes of Active Roll Stabilization which partners with Dynamic Damper Control for the reduction of body roll through fast cornering; Integral Active Steering that includes steering of the rear wheels; Dynamic Stability Control which links the Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, and the Start-off Assistant for top safety while in motion. There’s not much this vehicle can not do. Trust me!

If I were buying a Gran Coupe today then the V8 would be my choice. Pricing starts at $87,395 for the 650i and $90,395 for the 650i xDrive (includes $895 Handling and Destination). In comparison, the 640i begins at $76,895. Either or, don’t forget to order the M Sport package which turns your 650 into a quasi M6!


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