By Peter Perrotta
Sometimes all there is to say is one simple word: “Wow!”
If there was a button for those life moments when exact words or emotions don’t seem to be quite adequate for the situation, then punching a simple “Wow!” button seems like it should be an option.
I found myself trying to reach for that imaginary “Wow” button as soon as I settled behind the wheel of the 2020 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe for one week recently.
While not inexpensive – $100,675 as tested – this innovative, four door coupe seems to, at first blush, have it all. It is daringly stylish and bold looking, while also maintaining a refreshing blend of luxury – inside and out. And, like a typical BMW sports car, it is loads of fun to drive.
Did I also mention that this rig is fast – more like superfast, but not sloppy.
I was able to drive it fast and aggressively while maintaining firm control at all times, whether I was weaving in and out of traffic, making a bold pass, or just rounding a sharp curve. This all wheel drive BMW is athletic and able to pretty much chew up most any driving situation you can throw at it.
Driving this pleasure machine often brought to mind a quote by the famous Italian race car driver Mario Andretti: “If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”
New for 2020, the four door Grand Coupe, is similar to the 8-series coupe and convertible.
Car and Driver said of this new model: “BMW’s sleek new four-door leverages the guts from the 8 series coupe and convertible but with actually usable rear seats and a more balanced design. Is it a coupe? Is it a sedan? Does it matter?”
I wholeheartedly agree.
Many years ago – 2003 to be exact – I was selling Mercedes when that company introduced the innovative design concept of a four-door, sedan with the launch of the CLS model. At first blush, it looked like a coupe. But, upon further inspection, it was actually a luxury, four-door, sports car.
It took BMW awhile, but it finally caught up to Mercedes with the introduction of this coupe-like, four door.
BMW offers up two 840i Gran Coupe models in the United States: the 840i with its familiar 335-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0 liter inline six and a brawnier M850i with its 523 horse, twin-turbo 4.4 liter V-8. Both models use the BMW ZF 8 speed automatic transmission.
My tester was equipped with the six cylinder engine, which for me was more than enough power than I would ever need.
The base price of the tester model I drove was $87,800. However, after adding $11,880 in options and $995 for destination charges, it totaled $100,675.
The options included: $1,100 for the driving assistance package; $1,700 for the drivers assistance pro package; $4,850 for the M Sport Package and $1,200 for the comfort seating package.
The driving assistance package includes: parking assistance plus; drive recorder; surround view 3D camera; blind spot detection and lane departure warning and more.
The driving assistance pro package includes: extended traffic jam assist; active cruise with stop and go; active blind sport with steering assist and more.
The M Sport package includes: choice of 19 inch wheels with all season tires or run flats with 20-inch wheels; multi-functional seats; choice of interior trim; M steering wheel; an aerodynamic kit; alcantara headliner and more.
The car I tested had a Black Sapphire Metalic exterior and a two-tone Fiona red/ black leather interior.
The new BMW Gran Coupe is 9 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, 2.2 inches taller than the 8 series two door coupes. It also features a wheel base that is 7.9 inches longer.
Moreover, the new 8 series Gran Coupe sports the widest rear track – 65.8 inches – of any BMW ever produced.
Irrespective of the engine choice the Gran Coupe offers a stunning and powerful sweeping four door body with wide flanks and sharp creased modern lines.
On the inside, the Gran Coupe is luxurious and at the same time sporty. The front seats are comfortable and the sight lines while driving are good. Moreover, for a coupe it has a real back seat that fit two people comfortably – three might be a stretch, unless they are skinny.
I found the infotainment system that controls phone, music, climate and more to be reasonably easy to operate. It could be a bit confusing at first, but it really didn’t take long to get used to its operational functions.
The only knock I would have on this vehicle – and this is more of a knock on myself – is that at my ripe old age of 64 – it is a bit of a chore (once in a while) to get in and out of due to its low stance.
However, if would go to the gym more frequently – like my wife suggests – and lose some weight and become more limber this might not be the task that it was.
One of the more noticeable aspects of driving this handsome vehicle for one week was its head turning capabilities.
I can’t remember a car that I road tested that received as many head turning looks and “thumbs up” signs from passing motorists than this car.
The push button driving mode on the center console offers a comfort mode, sport, sport plus and sport individual selections. I found myself selecting the sport plus mode most of the time, which gives this car a very throaty Nascar like roar upon take off and deceleration.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears weekly. Comments and questions are welcomed. To contact him email email@example.com