BMW 650i Coupe Review

By: Scott Newman

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BMW 650i Coupe BMW 650i Coupe BMW 650i Coupe
BMW 650i Coupe BMW 650i Coupe BMW 650i Coupe

BMW 650. Twin turbos and a much nicer tail make a for great car

BMW 650i Coupe Review
BMW 650i Coupe

 

BMW 650i Coupe

The first thing you notice about BMW's latest flagship coupe is how normal it looks. Gone are the snub nose and taxi bum of its predecessor - the controversial 'Bangle-era' of design now consigned to the history books.

The new styling is far more cohesive and improves every time you look at it. The Six has huge road presence, partly because it's a bloody huge car. Longer (by 63mm) and wider (by 39mm) than the outgoing coupe, the increased size and 53 percent gain in body rigidity also means a weight gain of 130kg over the previous 650i.

Thankfully, the extra flab is compensated for under the bonnet. The twin-turbo 4.4 V8 is found in a variety of BMWs but the new 650i is its lightest application and boy does this thing shift. The engine is a gem, with near-instant response and a huge powerband - 600Nm from 1750-4500rpm and 300kW from 5500-6400rpm - hauling the 1770kg coupe to 100km/h in a claimed 4.9sec, or not far off what the old V10-engined M6 could do.

This jet-like thrust is delivered via a brilliant eight-speed auto. The ZF 'box slides almost imperceptibly through the tightly-stacked ratios when cruising but is capable of quick, crisp shifts via steering wheel-mounted paddles (BMW having ditched its unintuitive push-pull 'toggles') in Sport+ - the sportiest Adaptive Drive mode. Comfort+, Comfort and Sport are the other options - Sport giving the best compromise between ride comfort and body control.

Despite its intimidating size, the 650i shrinks around you when the road turns twisty. The electrically-assisted steering isn't the last word in communication but allows you to place the car accurately and perfect 50:50 weight distribution imbues the car with superb balance. Electronics subtly tame wheelspin, but even without them, power-down is excellent and short straights disappear thanks to that monster engine.

The new 6-Series is at its best, though, as a supreme Grand Tourer. Vast distances can pass under its 19-inch M Sport wheels (18s standard, 20s optional) with the front occupants remaining relaxed, though limited rear space means the 650i coupe is a 'plus-two' for anything beyond 10 minutes. A huge 26cm screen dominates the leather-stitched dash, but the driver will spend more time looking at the brilliant head-up display that projects speed and sat-nav directions just beyond the front bumper.

Now the bad news. The epic drivetrain, balanced chassis and quality interior come at a cost. The 650i starts at $232,300, but options took our test car to $248,270 (including, weirdly, $220 for Bluetooth music streaming). The 640i (235kW/450Nm) loses two cylinders, a turbo and starts at $178,300, yet still hits 100km/h in 5.4sec. A 410kW M6 super coupe will beckon later in the year.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

BMW 650i Coupe

 

ENGINE: 4395cc V8, DOHC, 32v, twin turbochargers

POWER: 300kW @ 5500-6400rpm

TORQUE: 600Nm @ 1750-4500rpm

WEIGHT: 1770kg

GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic

0-100km/h: 4.9sec (claimed)

TOP SPEED: 250km/h (limited)

PRICE: $232,300

 

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