Yes, what is it? A fat BMW with a fifth door. They thought in Munich: on the SUV we are varied. What if we really lift the butt of a sedan and soften the utilitarian effect of the procedure with a flashy coupé line? Then we have the dynamic moving box that the BMW driver at home can recommend as sporty yet load-friendly.
In cosmetic surgery terminology you would speak of a hatchback with extreme buttock augmentation. But an ordinary hatchback is the car for Ikea people they even have at Hyundai these days fastback to prevent the deadly feared association with ordinary citizens. This is a *** BMW, understand?
This is how the niche that BMW GT baptized in no meaningful word was born, of Gran Turismo. You have the 3 GT, a five-door 3-series. And the former 5 GT, the five-door 5-series, of which my white 640i GT is the successor. It’s now called ‘Six’ because people didn’t understand that the 5 GT was much more than a regular 5.
To avoid any confusion with bourgeois family hatchbacks, there is a devilish air vent behind the front wheels, and the boot lid ends in a spoiler-shaped point. The BMW kidneys in the grille have been botoxed to the extreme. The rectangular air intakes in the front: fighter jet-worthy.
BMW forgot one thing. The visible difference with that other, smaller GT. I pick him up in a parking garage. There we will have him, white and massive. How dirty he is, he looks gray. I unlock remotely, reach the car, open the door. It remains sealed. Wrong BMW. It is a silver 3 GT, the rear of which resembles my 6 like two drops of water due to the copy-paste method of the house style. He hides three cars further behind a VW bus. Suppose a BMW accountant had seen me fiddling with his car in my dingy thug jacket! Then I should have said in my neatest voice: but sir, I’m from NRC!
In the open air you really see how big it is, exactly as long and wide as a 7-series. Then why isn’t it called 7 GT? At BMW, the 6 stands for your self-esteem. Totally your thing.
The frenzied hunt for gaps in the market has paradoxically resulted in a rare practical car. A 610 liter trunk, with the rear seats folded down 1,800 – there are estate cars that have to make do with less. The driver can piggyback an entire string quartet. Herrlich!
I’ve been talking about the BMW gadgets. She has all these in the screen and clock sphere. In, of course, exactly the same design packaging as all BMWs. BMW’s tribute to ‘its unique aesthetic’ has the realism of a madness scene. The 640i GT nevertheless attracts two qualities that argue in favor of it against all aesthetic objections: the space, and the engine.
A German top class player must be too big. Large German sloops to be megalomaniac; Cologne Cathedral, Wagner. The three-liter six-cylinder turbo with 340 horses is a fat, soft cream sauce that never stiffens, no matter how hard you knock. Horse 341 can be hung behind with a braked draw weight of 2,100 kilos. You will not find a better combination of driving pleasure and travel worthiness.
Still, BMW has to be careful. The design threatens to be messed up. The 640 is mass looking for a shape. The designers worked hard to keep the thing from being smothered in its own fat. A network of decorative and auxiliary lines fights the formlessness. On the flanks, four already run over an anarchistically sloping surface of folds and bulges. A straight line at the door handles, below which a slightly fainter descends to the rear wheels; above the arched sill, a character line descending behind the air grille and then ascending. The swinging third side window will also be an attempt at dynamism, negated by the outgrown taillights. Like fluorescent ketchup waves, they slide to the humpback boot lid which, oh divine comedy, opens the principality of the family father. But no hatchback though, beware! A thoroughbred BMW.
Correction (5-2-2018): An earlier version of this review stated that the BMW 640i GT xDrive is a manual transmission car; this must be: an eight-speed automatic. This has been adjusted.