As bad as it is to call a four door automobile a “coupe,” today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW 650i is a rather fetching car. It comes with low miles and a noteworthy price, but as you will see there’s also a catch.
Yesterday’s 1987 Shelby CSX had a “secret door” as its rear hatch was masked by what, at first glance was a notchback body style. That wasn’t the only factor of that car to be unmasked as there were lots of questions around the claim that it was an original prototype for the hot model, and just what exactly it had been doing in the intervening years. All that, along with the fact that the CSX is just one of Shelby’s least interesting offerings, conspired in the 83-percent Crack Pipe loss it suffered at its $8,999 price.
The term “coupe” dates back to the era of the horse-drawn carriage when it was used to describe a conveyance with an enclosed seat for two behind an open driver’s post. Imagine if you will a stagecoach with the rear-facing seats removed and the body shortened accordingly.
In 1916 the Society of Automobile Engineers’ Automobile Nomenclature compendium described a coupe as “an inside operated, enclosed car seating two or three. A fourth seat facing backward is sometimes added.” You’ll note that there is no mention in that definition as to the maximum number of doors the said coupe might have. That has resulted over the years in some interesting interpretations.
One early adopter of the coupe designation on a four door was Rover, who used it on their P5B when appointed with a rakish backlight. The market remained rather flat for this bodystyle until years later when Mercedes released the CLS range in the mid-aughts. That car’s success led to the introduction of other four-doors with swoopy lines, including the VW Passat cc, Mercedes’ own CLA, and the subject of today’s attention, the BMW 6-series Gran Coupe.
Now this 2016 BMW 650i Gran Coupe M-Sport presents a bit of a conundrum based both on its designation and its number of doors. We’ve already established that the S.A.E. made no distinction as to the number of ports
in a storm a car needs to constitute a coupe, but experience tells us it rightfully should be only two. Not only that but BMW itself reshuffled its model designation to denote the number of doors—odds having four and evens having two. That meant that the three-series offered four doors while the newly anointed four-series would exclusively feature two. The six series, being an even number, would be exclusively a two-door too, right? Not on your nelly! BMW has more models than Tom Ford and there’s so much overlap and undertow that it’s hard to determine just what zipped past you on the highway based solely on the collection of numbers on its ass.
That leads us to the 6-series (even number) Gran Coupe which is, oddly enough, a four-door. Yeah, I’m freaked out by the whole ordeal too. I wonder if BMW offers model overload PTSD insurance?
Regardless of the position or naming convention or just general necessity for the car, it’s still one of the Bavarian company’s better looking rides. Not only that, but it’s filled to the gills with all the tech and performance the company could throw at it.
Included in its executive express bonafides are a 4.4 litre biturbo V8 good for 445-bhp and 480 torques. That’s backed up by a ZF automatic with eight speeds and paddle shifters for all you DIY types out there. The rest of the car is fully up to the task of making you look good too, with a heads-up dash display, lane departure warning, four-zone climate control, and cameras up the wazoo for surround view.
This being an M-Sport edition it also gets some subtle badging, upgraded wheels, and a good bit of interior trim updates.
There’s less than 10K on the clock and the black on black Nappa four door presents as new. Hell, you can probably still smell the factory QA inspector’s cologne in the car.
I said at the outset that there was a catch though, and here it is: this big, wonderful, seemingly as-new BMW comes with a rebuilt title. I know, cue sad trombone.
The seller says that it has not been in an accident and in fact shows no history of any damage at all. Still, it comes with a rebuilt title. That means something bad has happened to it in just the past... oh say, year and a half. Perhaps it was a theft recovery or maybe, like Seinfeld’s Saab it’s afflicted with IMS (Insurmountable Mechanic Stank).
Whatever the reason, this car comes with a tainted title and that’s why its price tag is $49,750, or a little under half what the same car—with a clean title—costs new today. The question for you then is, could half-off be enough of an incentive to figure out a work-around for that title issue? I know that some insurers won’t touch rebuilt titles with a 10-foot actuarial, but then there are those willing to roll the dice, it’s just a matter of cost and perhaps making the switch. What do you think, is this four-door coupe worth both its price and the effort?
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