The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe made its first appearance, Mercedes launched its CLS-Class so long ago that it’s already well into its second generation, so the world figured BMW should have had a rival before now.
In fairness, BMW hasn’t been completely idle these past few years. It introduced a white-space car of its own: the 5 Series GT, which hasn’t been enthusiastically received. Maybe the product planners should have shuffled the pack and launched the 6 Gran Coupe ahead of the 5 Gran Turismo. The 2013 6 Series Gran Coupe seems set to soar. It looks gorgeous.
Actually, the Gran Coupe isn’t quite a direct CLS competitor. It’s bigger, and the V-8 model will be more expensive than the base CLS550. Couple the large, 6 Series-like footprint with a low roof, and it has a commanding, graceful presence. Viewing it from the front or rear, you’re struck by how much wider the lower body is. It’s less ornamented than the second-gen Mercedes CLS, but not as plain-surfaced as the Porsche Panamera.
The nose and tail are the same as the 6 Series coupe, minus a couple of decorative chrome fillets in the front clip. The front doors are shorter than the 6 coupe’s, but the rears overcompensate. They open onto a bench that will seat two people in decent comfort, three in a pinch. Rear legroom certainly isn’t the match of a large sedan, but headspace is adequate even for taller men.
At the wheel, the dash and front seats mostly are a carbon copy of the 6 Series layout. This gives you a low and snug driving position. It feels like a car for driving far and fast.
So the Gran Coupe walks onto the luxury-coupe stage able to hold it’s own and become a benchmark for competing car companies.