independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Get real . . . this only belongs in our fantasies

They all loved it. Everyone. Mad about it, they were. But I knew deep in my heart I'd have to dash their fantasies. After all, someone's got to keep perspective. And there's nothing better than a hundred-grand price tag to do that.

This is BMW's first four-door coupé. The Gran Coupé is remarkable, stunning, exciting, fun, brilliantly engineered and highly addictive.

It is large and, because they stretched the chassis of the 6-series two-door Coupé on which it is based, there is really good rear-seat room.

It is hair-raisingly fast, with a punch of sheer power from a standing start to 100km in just 5.4 seconds. You are talking serious Porsche figures here.

Without ever ruffling its feathers, I used the manual side of the auto box to (I thought) really push the engine and chassis. Not a bit. One of my many companions quipped it was so powerful and fast you'd have to stick on the brakes when overtaking.

He wasn't too far wrong. When this thing gets to 100kmh, it is only rubbing the sleep from its eyes.

So you see, it is lots of things. But it is not, I repeat, anything other than fantasy material, a tribute to what can be done, or what could be aspired to in better times. If it is relevant to you dear reader, email me. I'd be delighted to talk to you. No?

Well, I reckon 99.9999pc of us will just do what my family and friends did: sit in it or look on in awe, think of what might have been, and then get back to reality.

Because this has nothing to do with the everyday. Nothing to do with Budget worries or comparing the price of groceries in three different supermarkets or worrying about how much more motoring is going to cost next year.

Mind you, as things now stand, the owner of a BMW Gran Coupé diesel will be paying much the same tax as they would with many a family saloon petrol. Good luck to them.

There was a time when a €100,000 motor would not have us drooling at the prospect of ownership. I can remember people just raising an eyebrow. Now they raise the roof.

I could still be behind the wheel, giving people a 'spin' in the 'gorgeous/wonderful/monster/beautiful' motor. It was a brief respite from the enclosing grim and grime of a tough year.

The all-aluminium 3-litre in-line six-cylinder engine is, despite the performance and the power, remarkably frugal.

I don't know about the quoted figures of 50mpg but you will easily get in the region of 40mpg-45mpg. BMW reckons that with a 70-litre fuel tank it could cover up to 1,300km.

Now there's a fantasy drive.

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