Feather-touch ride

Some say this is a revolution in a revelation, while others call it a sinful delight. BMW simply calls it the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Aficionados talk about it being a direct rival to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the Audi A7. Debates can be intense and digress from the job on hand: sitting behind the wheel and enjoying the comforts of a car that will not be out of place in haute society.

This mean machine was originally a two-door soft top (the 6 Series Convertible), and later transformed into a coupe (the 6 Series Coupe). Now it's the four-door Gran Coupe with a wheelbase extended by 113mm. Historically, a coupe is a car with a smaller interior space, and often is a two-door vehicle. Even coupes with four doors had a distinctive smaller feel to them along with a missing B pillar. But look at the Gran Coupe, and history and reasoning are thrown out the window. This new 6-Series Beemer is huge, four-doored and hard topped, its sole concession to coupe status being its low-slung design.

Hello Gorgeous
BMW has got the design dead-on. With sporty sloping C-pillars and a low, stretched profile and superbly crafted tail lamps, the 6-Series is a flawless beauty. The front slanting kidney grilles give the Gran Coupe an aggressive shark-like look. The long broad bonnet is like Excalibur's blade, so remember to slow down if you feel it is going to be a tight squeeze between a three-wheeler and the road divider.

Lap of luxury
The interiors are the same as those of any other 6-Series model, and exude class and quality with the Amaro Brown or Opal White leather fittings. It makes a unique statement. The colours and the styling might not please everyone in the beginning, but a lot of admiring glances will be following you. The broad front seats are comfortable and provide side and thigh support. The driving position offered is nothing less than correct and there isn't any fault to pinpoint. Getting in and out of the rear can, however, be a bit cumbersome as the C-pillar nosedives in and cuts off the headroom. But once inside, I have to confess that the rear seats are more comfortable than the front ones. It feels like a plush yacht's cabin. The seats scoop you up and provide excellent back support. One must keep in mind that the legroom is just about adequate for us Indians. For taller passengers, the knee room and head space may feel a bit claustrophobic. Listing all the gizmos available in the car is as needless an exercise as saying the Gran Coupe is a car meant for the well-heeled. Suffice it to say the Gran Coupe has all the features money can buy. Also, all the four seats have their own individual temperature control and seat heating.

Raw power
A 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, six-cylinder diesel engine powers the Gran Coupe. You will, as I did, thoroughly enjoy stepping on the gas pedal, not because of the 313 BHP power you will feel coursing through the metal innards, but for the engine's gentle growl that is music to the ears. The Gran Coupe is a very practical car when it comes to driving in the city. Due to a meaty low-end torque, there is no power surge while you patiently negotiate slow traffic. A lot of credit has to be given to the eight-speed automatic transmission which ensures optimum speed as it changes gears quickly. The Gran Coupe backs its good looks with impressive agility as it achieves 100 kmph in a mere 5.4 seconds. But this V6 diesel engine is also frugal so long as you remember to go easy on the accelerator. But then does someone who buys a Beemer bother about such inanities like mileage?

Handling
The ride quality is on the softer side. This actually makes it more practical, as BMWs traditionally provide a harsh ride quality due to their run-flat tyres. The Gran Coupe's dynamics are so well-balanced that taking a turn is a breeze. The tyres provide the sort of grip that gives you the confidence to tame dangerous curves. Even though the steering wheel's weight was well-balanced, it is not as responsive as other BMWs'.

Verdict
The Gran Coupe is more than a stretched 6-Series and more practical than the earlier Coupe. It is definitely more special than the 5-Series and unlike its two-door avatar, it does not feel bulky or big on the road. The Gran Coupe defines luxury and it's for those who appreciate beauty and performance.