By The Lenspeed Team
After an agonisingly long wait, we finally received our 435i GranCoupe!
Apparently it is the only unit on the island that has an automatic gearbox and LED headlights.
Not a significant point, but it did cause an extra month wait than initially planned. Because LTA homologates cars to very specific options, my car had to go for its very own homologation process due to this oddity. And it arose because of a fault in the order system. Well, have to say it built my patience…
So anyway, back to the car proper.
We’ve already covered 2000 or so kilometres in the month and a half or so we had it. It’s nice being back into the BMW fold again; the last and only BMW we ever had was the E46 320i, and our experience wasn’t so pleasant with that one. It had stalling issues, and for a 2.2-litre neither the power nor fuel consumption was great, although it had a great inline-6 exhaust note.
But this one is a lot more tech-laden, modern and hopefully reliable too.
It has a 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbo engine, with the famed ZF 8 speed gearbox, but you’d know that already as this drivetrain is just so well known. It’s reportedly tuned differently in various applications though, and I can verifiably say this is true. The same engine in an X5 I drove, for example, seemed to feel smoother and more torquey, but maybe that’s because it’s already well run-in. We shall see.
We chose Estoril Blue as the exterior colour because, well, we think it’s the most fitting hue for the car, especially with an M Sport kit. It’s got everything in it – or at least nothing I’m missing out on.
Can’t wait to drive it to some proper roads. Initial impressions?
The steering feels positively lively, and the handling is just fantastic. The low-slung chassis gives it terrific ability to make full use of the RWD drivetrain. Not so much roll, a lot of rear-initiated action. Driving one in Sport will make you feel like a hero. If driven in Sport+, some serious caution must be taken because it can be quite a handful. And with all that, you still get a ride that is seriously stupendous for something on 19″ rims. Thank the M Adaptive suspension.
However, it must be said the weakest point of the car so far is the engine. It doesn’t really have a very good low-end, neither does it have a really explosive shove anywhere on the rev range. There is no doubt it’s quick, but it could do with more character. The sound it makes is also classic BMW I6, but I wonder how much of those is merely engineered.
So that’s where we are, an update next month with some more miles logged!