Swoopy Gran Coupe a luxury rocket for the 5% crowd …
There are cars Bill Gates and Warren Buffett can afford and then there are cars that any CEO or hedge fund trader might slip lovingly into their 3-car garage.
That’s the 1% vs. 5% rule in the car world, and it’s the difference between owning a Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari or Rolls and, say, a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus.
Luxury, as with other car segments, has its nuances. So while you and moi may see this week’s nearly $100 grand BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe (the rich and hoity call it a coo-pay), as a high-end luxury fastback sedan, the one-percenters would consider it an entry-level daily driver.
Let’s begin with looks. The 2023 BMW 840i Gran Coupe is a dart of a car, a sleek fastback that oozes sex appeal. Look at those curves, the sweep of the roof, the smoothness of its lines, the lean nose-heavy silhouette. This one was bathed in a chameleon-like Sepia Metallic paint job that looked everything from light purple to gray with gold highlights. Fantastic, but then so is the $5,500 price for the jeweled appearance.
Yet if you, or your monied significant other, were in “need” of a slinky luxury sedan you’ll find few others that drive this well or look this tempting. That’s especially true as the sedan and coupe markets continue to shrink as trucks and their progeny overrun the auto market. A few contenders might be the Audi S7, Mercedes AMG GT, Lexus LC, and Porsche Panamera.
BMW is noted for its handling and the 840i with xDrive, its AWD system, is another gem, slicing through corners at speed and slipping into parking spots at a crawl. Steering wheel feedback is reactive and precise, plus there are four drive modes to firm ride and handling while altering shift points.
The fine twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder (a standard BMW powerplant) is stout and sturdy. It’s also plenty fast for highway jaunts, pumping 335 horsepower and doing 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. It’s capable of a top speed of 155 mph. You need faster?
OK then, go for the 850i with its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that packs 523 hp or jump up to the Alpina B8 model with 612 horses. Of course you’ll pay more for both. Just cash in some stock options or make another clever online trade.
Watch Mark’s video: Mark Savage reviews the 2023 BMW 840i Gran Coupe – YouTube
But this 840i is fast, fun and comfy as is, its 8-speed automatic shifting so smoothly it’s like a ghost transmission. While the grip from its 20-inch performance tires and that AWD make the BMW 8 Series a fine all-season car. Braking is primo too with monster four-wheel vented M-series discs. There’s also Cornering Brake Control to appropriately brake each wheel in turns to enhance cornering precision.
Naturally ride is firm, but mostly comfy even in the firmed up Sport mode. No spine tingling here.
Now, while the base Gran Coupe starts at $86,000 including delivery and this xDrive model lists at $88,895, there are plenty of add-ons to improve its already luxurious interior.
That starts with a $2,000 ivory white Merino leather seating package. For the uninformed (maybe you didn’t hand pick the leather your vehicle features) Merino leather is all natural, no funky dyes or dirt-fighting oils added and it’s as soft as a baby’s behind. The price you pay for patina is that Merino wears and soils more readily than treated leathers.
Still, a purplish car with white leather interior is pretty swank.
The dash is well laid out and appointed, now featuring a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen mounted high in the dash’s center. There’s still a rotary knob on the console to adjust it too, but most functions are easily found via the easier touchscreen functions.
Enhancing that are 8 pre-set radio buttons below the screen for easily storing your favorite channels.
A head-up display (HUD) is standard too and BMW’s digital dash simple to see and read. The test car added a fancy crystal shifter knob, a $650 option, and the start button is on the console, next to the shifter.
The baby-soft leather seats are powered, naturally, and feature buttons to adjust the lumbar four ways and a lever beneath the seat allows the lower cushion to be extended, an aid for long-legged drivers and passengers. Front seat heat is standard as is a heated steering wheel and the arm rests, a nice touch. Oddly rear seat heat costs another $650, but should be standard at this price.
The dash top is black leather with the lower portion white to match the seats while an aluminum trim enlivens the door styling and wraps into the air vent surrounds at the dash’s far corners. There’s also aluminum trim on the console surrounding the shifter and the textured surface there and on the door that covers a cubby beneath the center stack.
Yes, there’s a wireless charger there too, plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is a Harmon Kardon premium stereo. BMW’s Gran Coupe also includess 4-zone climate controls.
Overhead are two sunroofs, with the rear roof’s controls being on the rear seat armrests, as are power side window shades and a rear window sun shade.
A power trunk release pops the trunk and opens to a spacious cargo area. This is rated at 15.5 cubic feet, which is bigger than most sedan trunks. Think golf club caddy!
Negatives? Not many beyond price.
The powerful turbo engine prefers premium fuel and I feel all sporty cars should come with a flat-bottom steering wheel to visually signal their racy leanings. There also is the unpredictable gesture control function for the radio that sometimes works, sometimes not.
Fuel mileage is decent for this size car and the power delivered. I got 22.2 mpg while the car is rated 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for the AWD model.
Visually BMW says there’s a lighted grille here, although as a driver you’d never know. Plus this one added M Shadowline lighting for $650, and bi-color double spoke wheels for $1,300. A minor add-on is the $100 Driving Assistance package that adds active blind spot detection, park distance control and assistant, plus a 3-D surround view camera. Worth the $100 as all the other safety equipment you’d expect is standard.
With options, the test 840i xDrive Gran coupe comes in at $99,745. Going with one of several standard colors can save you $4,000 to $5,500 though.
A two-door coupe (a less roomy rear seat, plus just two doors) is also available and a convertible model in both the 840i and 850i models. A base coupe is $84,000, and convertible $95,000
For comparison, an 850i Gran Coupe starts at $101,000, and the 850i convertible at $110,000. Moving up to that ego-pleasing superfast Alpina jumps the price to $141,000.
OK, what’ll it be Mr. Gates, one of each?
FAST STATS: 2023 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe
Hits: Sleek fastback looks, interesting color and snazzy interior. Strong power, excellent handling and grip thanks to AWD. Heated seats and wheel, wireless charger, big easy-to-use screen, 4 drive modes, 8 pre-set radio buttons, comfy seats, dual sunroofs, and excellent trunk space.
Misses: Prefers premium fuel, no flat-bottom wheel, unpredictable gesture control for radio.
Made in: Dingolfing, Germany
Engine: 3.0-liter twin turbo I6, 335 hp/368 torque
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Weight: 4,180 lbs.
Wheelbase: 119 in.
Length: 200.3 in.
Cargo: 15.5 cu.ft.
MPG: 22.2 (tested)
Base Price: $88,895 (includes delivery)
Sepia Metallic paint, $5,500
Ivory white full Merino leather, $2,000
Driving assistance pkg. (parking assistant plus, active blind spot detection, active partk distance control, surround view w/3D), $100
M Sport professional pkg. (M Shadowline lights), $650
Comfort seating pkg. (heated front/rear seats), $650
20-inch M double-spoke bi-color wheels, $1,300
Glass controls (shifter), $650
Test vehicle: $99,745
Sources: BMW, www.kbb.com
Photos: Mark Savage