An hour with the BMW 650i Coupe

Posted By on December 31, 2005

BMW 650i
I know some might think that I must be struggling through a mid-life crisis for even looking at cars like these, but “a man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.” (go ahead and have a pitty party for me) Dave Lewis, at the Cincinnati BMW Store, ask me to give him a hand putting together a intro video today for an upcoming “Zero to 120” video segment of the Carbuyersnotebook. I looked at it as a just another chance to drive an exceptional piece of engineering … the BMW 650i Coupe.

There is something about the stance of this luxury performance coupe that belongs on the Cincinnati streets … perhaps it is its Bengal stance? (Who dey?) Nevertheless new styling is going to take some time for BMW lovers to appreciate. I can’t say that the 650i’s looks have taken me by storm, but driving it is another story. WOW!

BMW 650i and Dave LewisFirst, it is a luxury car. The power mega-way leather seats adjust quickly to a perfect drivers position for me and I immediately felt comfortable behind the wheel. Controls are not overdone and look very appealing. The “iDrive” system put almost every control at ones fingertips in the wide console between the front seats. It is as easy for the passenger to control the electronics as it is the driver. Dave demonstrated some of the more detailed settings like adjusting the airflow from each vent to calling the BMW emergency help center that interfaces with the cars exceptional GPS unit. (we tried it)

I cornered my way ‘quickly’ through some neighborhood streets, I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed a ‘coupe’ with the longer door and excellent vision to the side as well as rear. The first shock was the lack of a tight turning radius. I haven’t looked up the numbers, but it did surprise me when backing out of a parking place or doing a “legal u-turn” as the GPS lady politely requests. Another item to get use to is the multi stalks on the turn signal side of the steering column. I suppose it just takes a little getting use too?

Wheels and TiresWhat doesn’t take getting use to is the powerful 4.8 liter Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timed V-8; it is a engine that belongs in this Bengal tiger! It accellerates quickly and kept the 18 inch alloy wheels and 245/45R-18 all-season run-flat tires stuck to the pavement … with a little assist from the Dynamic Traction Control. I wasn’t watching the speedo, but the seat of the pant feel confirms the 6-speed SMG transmission rocketed this luxury car to 60 in its stated 5.3 seconds, I think. What stood out most was just how quiet the car was even while accelerating hard as the cabin is best defined as ‘hushed.’ I was shocked several times when I glanced at the tach to see rpm’s up around 5 and 6000 … you couldn’t tell from inside the car. I could continue to rave about all the features that ease the driver’s load, but just check out the list instead.

The car’s exterior is sleek, but nothing extrodinary or obnoxious. The subtle BMW trunk latch insignia and 650i, on the rear and dual chromed exhaust is about all anyone is going to see if I’m behind the wheel …. zoom … it is hard to drive this smooth vehicle slow. The BMW 650i Coupe is truly a well engineered luxury perfomance automobile … although at a $70plus sticker it is what one might expect.
Trunk latch and 650i


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