Tag Archives: sexy cars

2023 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe

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.

If only!

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.

They say the grille is lighted, but it’s hard to tell in the daylight.

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?

Fancy wheels, big brake rotors!

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

Sporty styling for the door panels and trim!

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: 20/27

MPG: 22.2 (tested)

Base Price: $88,895 (includes delivery)

Invoice: $83,240

Options:

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

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

Lexus LC 500 drop-top redefines beauty … 

It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it. – Voltaire

Beauty, thy name is Lexus LC 500.

OK, the name isn’t beautiful, but Toyota’s luxury brand understands beauty and sure as heck knows how to affect us … mix beauty, power and luxury, then drop the top.

If you’ve seen the bodacious LC 500 coupe since its 2018 debut you know it’s a looker. Sleek lines, stylish corseted nose and sexy rear end. For 2021 Lexus creates a drop-top version that exudes even more beauty. Continue reading 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible

M8 drop-top an elegant refined rocket, near supercar … 

Two questions: How much did you pay for your house? How much would you pay for a supercar, or near supercar?

The first may vary wildly depending on how long ago you bought your home, but if you’re thinking Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, or McLaren for the supercar, you’re likely imagining a price tag north of $1 million.

Relax, this new 2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible is much cheaper. But at $180,245 it’s nearly double what we paid for the 1950s Savage ranch (home) about 30 years ago, and the darned M8 doesn’t even have a bathroom. Continue reading 2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible

2020 Mustang leaves Mopar guys snake bit

The Shelby guys have thought of everything with the racy 2020 Mustang GT 500 …

Two new hot rod Tangs!

By Paul Daniel and Mark Savage

PAUL: I sort of backed into loving Mopar stuff after Chrysler bought American Motors Corp. in the late 1980s. I’ve always been the kind of person who has a soft spot for the underdog. I’ve driven all the Challengers, with the exception of the Red Eye, and enjoy the driving experience they provide. In fact, if I could go out and buy a high-performance pony car I’d go buy one. That was until I drove the 2020 Mustang GT 500. Continue reading 2020 Mustang leaves Mopar guys snake bit

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1967 Shelby GT350

Rare Shelby GT350 originally meant for Hertz …

What car lover doesn’t long to own a Hertz-intended Shelby GT350, a rare black fastback Mustang from its 1960s hey days?

Most of us would part with some serious coin for one of these black beauties in any size and now Auto World delivers a stout one in 1/18 scale as part of its American Muscle series that reproduces cars honored at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals events.

Like others in this series it’s a high-value die-cast metal model with opening hood and doors and a finely detailed interior. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World’s 1967 Shelby GT350

2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited

Hyundai Sonata’s beauty is more than skin deep …

Seeing Hyundai’s eighth-gen Sonata makes me feel a bit like Charlie Brown when he sees “the little red-haired girl.” Not sure it’s love at first sight, but “wow,” the 2020 Sonata is stirring. Yet that’s not a description many family sedans evoke.

Hyundai, which along with cousin Kia continues to up the styling ante, has outdone itself with the new Sonata. After stunning buyers with the sixth generation Sonata in 2011 and then coasting on styling for the seventh gen model, this one rocks the sedan market. Continue reading 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited

Die-cast: Autoart’s Aston Martin Vulcan

James Bond would covet this sexy Aston …

Britain’s Aston Martin brand stirs images of James Bond deploying a bulletproof screen behind his DB5, spraying bullets from the machine guns in its running lights, squirting oil on the road to wreck the evildoers following him or ejecting said henchmen through the passenger’s side roof.

It also stirs thoughts of high speed and equally high prices. Well, Autoart’s new Aston Martin Vulcan lives up to those later images, as would any original Aston. This one is 1/18 scale though and oozing with detail that helps justify its $220 price tag. But that’s nothing compared with the 1/1 scale’s $2.3 million suggested retail sticker. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Aston Martin Vulcan

Die-cast: NEO’s 1960 Ford Thunderbird

1960 Thunderbird convertible still stylish after all these years … 

Long before Ford’s Thunderbird grew into a full-size luxury coupe with long hood and monstrous dimensions, it was a cool sportster, first a two-seater, then a four-seater.

From its launch as a 1955 through the end of its second generation model, 1960, the T-bird was a styling home run. That’s why I’m happy to see NEO’s fine 1/43 scale model of the 1960 model in convertible trim. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1960 Ford Thunderbird

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 1LT

Fast & furious new Stingray sets a new standard 

The company parking lot was alive with color, as was the driveway at home. People stared, gave a thumbs up and admired what for 60 years has been America’s Sports Car.1LT, 2014 Corvette Stingray, auto reviews, Chevrolet, chevy, Corvette, heads-up display, savageonwheels.com, sexy cars, Stingray, Vette, Z51

This was a Torch Red Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51, fresh off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Ky., and raring to have its legs stretched, its engine thrummed, its giant near slick ZR-rated tires warmed and spun. The Corvette remains a two-seater, but by the late 1960s had transitioned from sports car to muscle car.

Oh, these babies are raced to be sure, but on the highway, on our city streets, it’s their muscle that most folks admire. They are low, so low I found myself looking up to a Mini Cooper that I was passing on the freeway. Vettes are fast. Chevy claims 3.8 seconds from 0-60 mph and even it if it’s 4.0 or a touch more, it’ll haul butt.

Top speed? It’s rated at 190 mph and there’s no good place to test that out, legally. Suffice it to say I got within 90 mph of that. Highway entry ramps are too short in a Corvette, which for its seventh generation that debuts as a 2014, brings back the much loved Stingray name.

1LT, 2014 Corvette Stingray, auto reviews, Chevrolet, chevy, Corvette, heads-up display, savageonwheels.com, sexy cars, Stingray, Vette, Z51For the record Chevy has revamped its giant 6.2-liter V8 to add direct injection and variable valve timing. That translates into 460 horses and a torque rating of 465. Consider that a Porsche 911 Carrera S manages 400 horses, albeit from a flat-6, and costs almost twice as much. Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 1LT