The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo is now in Singapore. Just not where you might expect to find one
SINGAPORE — The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo is in town, and in this case we mean literally in town. The 630i and 640i Gran Turismo are being launched at the BMW Pavilion, a pop-up store at Suntec Plaza.
The Pavilion opened today for a fortnight, and offers visitors the chance not just to test drive the 630i GT, but various other BMW models: the i3 and i8, the 540i M Sport, the plug-in electric 740Le iPerformance, and the 750Li. Also on display is the M760Li, a 610hp car capable of hitting 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, in spite of its size and lavish interior.
This is not the first BMW pop-up (the 7 Series was launched at a temporary building at Gardens By The Bay) but what’s inside it is both new and novel.
This is BMW’s first 6 Series Gran Turismo (although it is a follow-up to the 5 Series GT, a car that was shorter but taller, with an ungainly rear end), and it offers something of a mixed bag. Being nearly as long as a standard 7 Series (and sharing its wheelbase), it has a vast interior. It can carry 610 litres of cargo (or 1,800 litres if you fold the rear seats), so no BMW has a bigger boot apart from the X5, a large sport utility vehicle.
The fastback shape, meanwhile, is bound to perplex purists or traditionalists who associate the 6 Series badge with coupes.
Prices start at S$311,800 including Certificate Of Entitlement (COE) 630i Gran Turismo M Sport, a car with a 2.0-litre, 258hp turbo engine with peak torque output of 400Nm. It scampers to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds.
A faster 640i Gran Turismo M Sport is also on sale, for S$389,800 with COE. It comes with BMW’s xDrive all wheel-drive system and a 3.0-litre turbo, and its 340hp, 450Nm output sends it to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds.
A third variant, the 630i Gran Turismo Luxury, has also gone on sale, but pricing for that has not been released.
Singapore is the fifth major city and the first country in Asia to host the BMW Pavilion, a 250 square-metre showcase of not just BMW’s cars, but of products from a number of partnering brands, such as Montblanc, Sincere Fine Watches and The Macallan.
Public days are on Sundays (November 12 and 19) while entry is otherwise by invitation only. That’s because the Pavilion is being used to host private sessions for small groups to get to know both BMW and the partnering brands better, and vice versa.
Brenda Pek, the marketing director for BMW Asia, says the venue is meant to give the brands the chance for some “outreach”. The intention is to build a connection with customers, she says, leaving actual sales to follow later. “At this level, it’s not transactional. We respect the customers,” she says.
That might seem like a strange way to introduce the 6 Series GranTurismo, but an unusual approach might be the right one for what is an unusual car.