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BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe Hits The Fairway

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Golf and cars. It’s not exactly bacon and eggs or Morcombe and Wise is it. Well that’s precisely what Inside Lane thought when it was invited, courtesy of BMW, to the latest round of the PGA championship tour at the prestigious Wentworth Club in the heart of rural Surrey. In fact, the only time it had ever hit two balls before was when…. well, you can finish that one. Nevertheless, it dusted off its moth eaten chequered golf slacks from the shed, dug out a suitably garish sweater and cut the middle out of an old baseball cap in the hope of fitting in better with the horde of golfists and enthusiasts. It needn’t have bothered…. You see, away from the greens and fairways was the real reason why Inside Lane had dragged itself out of bed at half 6 in the morning. The event sponsors, BMW, had something they wanted to show us, and it was well worth the trip. The sight that greeted us was the brand new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the brand’s first ever 4-door Coupe no less. You may be relieved to hear that our first impressions of the car went something along the lines of “wow”, testifying that this latest incarnation of the model, following on from the standard Coupe and the Convertible, lacks none of the universally acknowledged 6 Series beauty. At closer inspection, several features, besides the extra doors, immediately distinguish the Gran Coupe from its siblings; neat-looking chrome elements adorn the lower half of the front grill, separating the air intakes from the fog lights and at the back, a third brake light elegantly stretches along the entire width of the rear window. But of course the real stand out alteration to the newest 6 Series is the addition of the 2 rear doors. Now, at the risk of being accused of hair-splitting here, when compared side by side to the original 6 Series Coupe, the 4-door Gran Coupe does tend to looked a little, well, forced. However, like Fernando Torres’ new haircut, we may be startled by it at first but in time come to accept it for what it is and embrace a more grown up, mature looking specimen. The car that is, not the footballer… What the Gran Coupe does offer in abundance is space and comfort. The boot space is positively cavernous for any Coupe, as demonstrated to us by the strategically placed golf bag, presumably borrowed off the lacklustre Rory McElroy whilst he enjoyed an early bath from the tournament. Moving into the sumptuous and airy interior, there is enough room to comfortably accommodate 4 passengers on even the longest of journeys. The extended wheelbase provides that little bit extra leg room for rear passengers which makes all the difference and perhaps the simplest yet most effective feature of the entire car, the cunningly designed knee-shaped groves behind the front seats, masterfully eliminates the age-old of bane of the lanky back seat passenger even with the electrically adjustable front seats fully back. Why has nobody thought of this before! In the front, the entire cockpit, including the centre consol, dashboard and the standard issue HD 10.2 inch flat screen display has been subtly angled towards the driver, creating a truly driver orientated feel. However, the only area where BMW may have overstretched themselves is in the claim that the 4+1 seating arrangement provides space for a third rear passenger on short journeys. This, we fear, is at best ambitious and at worst utterly impractical. With the mammoth centre consol extending all the way from the front of the cabin to the rear seats, there is no foot-well beneath the middle seat, forcing any wood-be fifth passenger to straddle the consol and trample over the feet of other passengers. We can envisage the debacle of trying to open the centre cubby hole whilst attempting to carefully avoid manoeuvring your hand into any ‘inappropriate’ areas…. Ok, so what do you get under the bonnet for your money? The Gran Coupe comes with the same 3 engine options already available with the Coupe and Convertible. The gutsiest of these is the 650i version, with its 450bhp and 479lb/ft torque, will whisk you from 0-62 in 4.6 seconds, only half a second off the M5. If you’re looking for economy then the diesel 640d will do up to 50 mpg, aided by the ‘Driving Experience’ button which controls ECO PRO Mode and the Auto Start Stop function as standard. All engines are limited to 155mph and come with BMW’s proven 8-speed gearbox. Not including optional add-ons like the adaptive LED Headlights, the Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System and the prestigious M Sport package, a 650i Gran Coupe will set you back around £70,000 with the 640d coming in at just less than £64,000 – not unreasonable money for a quality badge and premium model. Well worth the trip you ask? Undoubtedly. Settling down at the 19th hole, after a glorious sun-drenched day, Inside Lane found itself contemplating the calibre of world class talent showcase at Wentworth. It really isn’t often that you get to see such a special spectacle of all round quality at one of the world’s great sporting arenas. And the golf wasn’t bad either!

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