30 Minutes With: The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo

Front 3/4 view of 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Days in Monterey, California.

Day one of Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca via Laureles Grade.  Once there, you swap cars with another journalist for the drive back, get a different car at The Quail, and repeat. Apart from an hour's lunch (this year sponsored by Nissan), this is the day from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., although heavy rains forced us to call it a day at 2:30 this year, reducing the number of cars we could drive.

Map of Quail Lodge to Monterey Tides Hotel
Quail Lodge to Monterey Tides Hotel (courtesy Google Maps).
When the decision was made to call the afternoon's activities on account of rain, our job was to get the cars back to the host hotel, The Monterey Tides, from the Quail Lodge.  My good fortune was to see an unoccupied 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo through the downpour.

Rear 3/4 view of 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo.
It would be hard to overstate just how hard the rain was coming down.  This would not be a drive to test the limits of the BMW.  The mission was just to get from point A to point B in one piece. The map may say 14 minutes to cover the 10.1 miles, but that's in good conditions.  This was half an hour with the wipers on their highest setting.

I picked exactly the right car.  As all hell broke loose from the heavens, the rock-solid all-wheel drive 640i xDrive Gran Turismo was an automotive safe space.

There's no question that if the weather had been cooperating, the 640i would have been a blast to carve up Laureles Grade with.  The 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six with 335 horsepower, eight-speed sport automatic with sport and manual shift modes, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, all-wheel drive and launch control all add up to some serious fun potential...on a different day.

The base price for the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo is $69,700, which gets you not only the power, the all-wheel-drive and the sleek four-door coupe styling, but a long list of standard equipment (leather interior, enhanced USB and Bluetooth, run-flat tires, display key, universal garage door opener, keyless entry, auto-dimming driver exterior mirror, ambient lighting, a panoramic moonroof, power front sport seats, lumbar support, automatic high beams, active protection, automatic climate control, adaptive full LED lights, advanced RTTI, remote services, wireless charging, digital instrument cluster, wi-fi hotspot, navigation and a one-year subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio).

Interior view of 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo interior.
There were also more than a few extra-cost options, which made a $13,000 difference in the price tag:

  • Bluestone Metallic paint: $550.
  • Driving Assistance Plus: $1,700.
  • Dynamic Handling Package (Integral active steering, adaptive drive+2-axle air suspension, active roll stabilization, dynamic damper control): $4,100.
  • M Sport Package (19-inch M light alloy wheels, SensaTec dashboard, fineline ridge wood trim, aerodynamic kit, shadowline exterior trim, anthracite headliner): $1,200.
  • Executive Package (Soft-close automatic doors, parking assistant plus, head-up display, gesture control, active park distance control, rear-view camera with surround view and 3D view): $2,150.
  • Heated steering wheel: $190.
  • Front and rear heated seats: $350.
  • Ceramic controls: $650.
  • Power rear seatback adjustment: $500.
  • Remote control parking: $750.
  • Apple CarPlay compatibility: $300.
  • Harmon-Kardon surround sound: $875.
With a destination charge of $995, the bottom line came to a sobering $84,010.  But adverse driving conditions have a way of bringing a car and its capabilities into clear focus.  And of the five cars I drove on this rain-shortened day----or for that matter, the 60 or so available to us---I wouldn't have wanted anything else for that final, rain-soaked run from the Quail to Monterey Tides.