WE’RE big fans of frothy little city cars here at Scotsman Motoring, but every so often we hanker after something a little more, well, imposing. Enter the BMW 640d – a Bavarian bruiser with a deliciously swoopy coupe body and the muscle to match. Frothy it’s not, but don’t dismiss it as a cumbersome brute, for this big fella has feelings.
The third-generation 6-Series is longer, lower and wider than the Mk II model, so we’re talking sleek. Even the headlights look a bit happier. In fact, we’d say it bears closer resemblance to the original 6-Series from 30 years ago, and that’s no bad thing.
Take as long as you like to muse upon the timeless appeal of a long bonnet and bulging wheel arches, then jump in – there’s room for two tall folks up front and two not-quite-so-talls in the back– and we’ll go for a spin.
Nice in here, isn’t it? Clearly, BMW has done its homework and knows what options make the Scotsman Motoring team tick. Nappa leather? Tick. American Oak trim? Tick. A sunroof that’s almost as big as the roof it occupies? Tickety-tick.
Did you notice the way the doors fastened themselves shut after you got in? The big car did that for you. It wants to keep you cosy. See? I told you it has feelings.
Dunno about you, but I’m won over already, and we haven’t even gone anywhere yet. Punch in a destination on the satnav screen that’s as big as a portable TV and we’ll begin. The handling is as sharp as the looks, and the ride is as comfortable as you want to make it.
You’ll have already noticed, by the way you were pinned back into your seat as we breezed to 60mph in five and a half seconds, that the 640d’s diesel engine is strong enough not just to cruise the city, but to power it.
Two turbochargers help the motor produce a most un-diesel-like 310bhp. Heck, it doesn’t even sound like a diesel, does it? In fact, I bet you barely heard it at all. There are petrol-engined versions of the 6-Series but, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why you would choose one of them over this.
Yet with all this power comes responsibility. So far, we’ve averaged just over 36mpg. Good for a car of this size but some way short of the 51mpg BMW says we ought to get. So let’s escape from the city, switch the Drive Dynamic Control button into Eco Pro mode and waft around for a bit to see if we bump up the average.
Selecting Eco Pro blunts the acceleration, fiddles with the gearshift and reduces power to the air conditioning to make every last drop of diesel go further. A display on the dashboard shows how many miles of fuel you’ve saved.
But, when it’s five-to-closing time at Harvey Nicks and caring for the environment plays second fiddle to staking a claim to the last pair of Alexander Wangs on the shelf, choose Sport mode and unleash the beast to get you to the store on time.
Sport+ is nuttier still, since it turns down the wick on stability control and suchlike. Select it and there’s a significant risk you’ll announce your arrival at Harvey Nicks by smashing through the front doors, backwards, in a shower of glass and steel.
A devilishly sleek and handsome shower, mind you.
CAR: BMW 640d M Sport Coupe
PRICE: From £66,745 (£80,080 as tested)
PERFORMANCE: Max speed 155mph; 0-62mph 5.5s
MPG: 51.4 (combined cycle)
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
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Wind direction: North west
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