The Edmund’s Senior Editor, Erin Riches has a bit of a funny story to tell: “Hey, that’s a beautiful BMW. It’s new, isn’t it?” asks a man in a Pujols jersey getting out of a Range Rover.
“Yes, it’s a 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe. Goes on sale in a few weeks.”
“Looks great,” he says before taking his wife’s hand as they stroll toward Angel Stadium. Fifty feet later, we hear him say, “Honey, look, that’s the Porsche I was telling you about – the Panorama.”
That’s where Erin’s story ends. I’m sure you’re dying to know why I’ve included this story. I’ll tell you. The PANAMERA is NOT called the Panorama! Oops!
But, back to the BMW. Some people can get confused about the bulbous Panamera, but this is the first time in a long time that somebody has called a BMW beautiful. Erin is relieved that he didn’t ask about the way it drives. Why? There really isn’t a set-in-stone answer to that. Erin likes the smooth, powerful, and rev-happy turbocharged six-cylinder engines that are found throughout the BMW line (except for the new 3 Series). But, the 315 horsepower, 330 lb-ft of torque 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six cylinder engine feels very unresponsive unless you keep the car in Sport Mode all the time (recommended). Even with Sport Mode on, the car doesn’t have very much low-end grunt. You’d think it would be the opposite, with those 330 lb-ft of torque coming into full play at 1,400 rpm. If you want a Gran Coupe, wait until the 650i Gran Coupe comes out, as it will have the bigger and more powerful 4.4 liter, twin turbocharged V8 that cranks out a beefy 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. That bigger engine may give the chunky Gran Coupe some more VROOM!
If you already have a Gran Coupe, I’m sure that you are all too aware of the sluggish acceleration. 60 mph comes up in an extremely slow 5.7 seconds (5.4 if you allow one foot of rollout on the dragstrip). The quarter mile isn’t any better, coming up in an unremarkable 14.2 seconds at 95 mph. The smaller BMW 535i is as fast, and is smaller by at least 500 pounds. The V6 Porsche Panamera gets to 60 in 5.8 seconds, but is faster in the quarter mile, at 14 seconds flat at 98.4 mph. All the other competitors beat it to 60 and the quarter, but don’t look as nice… But, the 640i Gran Coupe is best in braking, taking a mere 110 feet to get to a complete halt from 70 mph.
I have some words of wisdom for potential buyers and the folks over at BMW: Retune the chassis, so it doesn’t make the car drive as oddly as it does, and bring the 650i Gran Coupe over ASAP! Potential buyers should most definitely wait until the 650i Gran Coupe comes out. I guess I’ll wait. I only have a year and a bit.