MotorTrend takes the new BMW 650i Gran Coupe and and pits it against its competitors in the class: Audi S7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS550. Before we jump into the review, here are some vital stats.
The 4.4-liter V-8 engine (N63) that powers the current 650i models received an upgrade for the new 650i Gran Coupe. This new version of the engine adds BMW’s VALVETRONIC variable valve timing to the list of specifications. As a result, the new version of the engine (N63Tü) develops a maximum 445 hp between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm (a 45 hp increase), and makes peak torque of 480 lb-ft between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm (a 30 lbs-ft increase).
The new BMW 650i Gran Coupe completes the sprint from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100km/h) in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The S7 shares the S6’s biturbo 4.0-liter V8, which is all new for 2013. The S7 makes 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque enough to propel the five-door coupe to 60 mph in just a tick under 5 seconds before topping out at 155 mph.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is powered by a 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged 402-horsepower V-8 engine and seven-speed automatic transmission. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in 4.7 seconds.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
Meet Goldilocks, aka the BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe. “This is what the F10 5 Series should have been from day one,” opined Evans. “Forget this Gran Coupe nonsense — just call this thing the 5 Series and let the current car quietly fade from memory.” Scott went on to say that this “may be BMW’s best car at the moment.” I sure think it is, and have been referring to it as “my favorite BMW” since I first drove it back in August.
As much as I like the looks of the Audi S7, there’s simply something more seductive about the Gran Coupe. Even Ron agreed. “Highest curb appeal here, and the valets are more likely to put this one up front.” More surprising is the Gran Coupe’s interior, the best BMW’s ever done by several kilometers. From the two-tone leather to the funky speaker grilles to the ballsy asymmetric center-stack treatment (how can you not love three separate rows of French stitching spreading up and out toward the windshield like some sort of vine?), almost every inch of the car’s innards has been crafted to a standard higher than that of any Audi or Mercedes. More important, the Gran Coupe is the first car of its type (four-door coupes) with an interior as radical as its exterior.
Is the Gran Coupe as awesome on our favorite back roads as the S7? No. “The car has nice moves, but it’s just not as sharp as the Audi,” said Kiino. However, it’s plenty sharp. Weight is an issue in sharp corners, of course, but not that much of an issue. “Drives smaller than it is,” added Evans. “I found it easy to forget how fast I was going and how big this car is, until I hit a sharp corner. Otherwise, it’s a pleasure to drive hard. Nice transitions; very smooth.” Like all three competitors, the BMW is AWD. However, to me it felt the most RWD-biased. I also thought it had the best steering feel, as did Evans. “There’s a nice weight to the inputs that feels pretty natural. More important, the steering feel is surprisingly good, especially considering that it’s AWD and that recent BMWs have demonstrated poor steering feel.” If this test were just about pure, back-road capability, the S7 would get the nod. But as the BMW is about 95 percent as capable as the Audi (identical 0.94 max g, too), but offers so much more in desirability, craftsmanship, and that all-important X-factor, we’re calling it the winner. As stated, there are no perfect cars. But it’s very seldom that I find myself so quick to forgive vehicular flaws. With the BMW Gran Coupe, that’s absolutely the case. As such, “The Ultimate Driving Machine” just took on a whole new meaning.