Drives: 650GC/Vellfire/E93 M3 Cab
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Hong Kong
I have spent couple of days with the F06 650i now and see if I can do a simple comparison of various aspects between the 650i and the F10 550i.....
Body Styling and exterior
No contest there. The F06 has a much more aggressive appearance than the now fairly common F10 in Hong Kong. The F06 turns heads everywhere. The F06 sits quite a bit lower than the F10. Although slightly longer and wider, the F06 by itself does not look bigger than the F10 at all.
The new LED headlights and fogs are stunning to look at. However, I do find the LED lights not as bright as Xenon headlights. But still very sufficient lighting for night driving.
Aesthetic-wise, I am in no hurry to lower the car or switch to larger wheels at the moment. The Hong Kong spec 650i Gran Coupe comes with the 19” 367 star spoke wheels, which seems to suit the style of the Gran Coupe, a rare occurrence for BMW wheels….. And the wheel gap between the tyres to the fender is around 2-3 fingers, not like the F10 which is 4+ fingers even with 20” wheels…… Maybe I will try putting on my MS8 20” and take some pictures to compare. But now, the OEM 19” star spoke stays……
I am happy that I didn’t opt for the M Sport front end on the Gran Coupe. For some reason, the M front on this car takes away too much classiness on the Gran Coupe. And surprisingly, the chrome elements on the standard Gran Coupe works very well aesthetically. But then, to each their own.
I have ordered the comfort seats for the Gran Coupe, where as it was standard for my old F10 550i in Hong Kong. I find the comfort seats in the Gran Coupe stiffer than the comfort seats in the F10. And the side bolsters on the comfort seats on the Gran Coupe are not adjustable to the same degree of tightness as in the F10. The Gran Coupe comfort seat headrest are manually adjusted where as they are electronically adjusted in the F10. Front seat belts are attached to the should of the seats in the F06, which suits me just fine. Front space feels to be about the same as in the F10 for driver and passenger. There are less storage space around the driver area in the F06 than the F10 (no driver side amenity drawer), and the 12V outlet is not in between the cup holder, but in the small amenity opening behind the shift lever. This will be a problem if one needs to charge their phone on a dash mount…… Oh and there is less space to fit a dashboard mount for the phone in the first place…….
As for the rear passengers, there seems to be a bit more legroom in the F06 than F10 when the driver and front passenger are sitting comfortably. This is most likely due to the fact the the front comfort seats in the F06 are way less bulky than the F10 comfort seats. If one opted for the sport seats or standard seats, the rear legroom will be even better! But then, having sat in the sport seats of the Gran Coupe, I will not settle for anything other than comfort seats in the F06.
Obviously, there are less headrooms for the rear passengers, but I have not had anyone (adults) complain that they are uncomfortable. Oh, no. I have not had any lady (or gentleman) sad in the middle rear bench yet…… And there is no easy access 12V outlet for the rear seat passengers. So need to buy long charging cables for my children’s phones….. All-in-all, the rear seats are fairly comfortable for REGULAR ASIAN sized adults for driving around in Hong Kong. Yao Ming may be problematic…….
The Gran Coupe has excellent visibility for front and side. It is much easier to adjust to the perfect driving position for myself. I only spend 2-3 mins and everything is perfect in the F06. In contrast, I spend days trying to figure out an optimal driving seat position in the F10. The major drawback in the F06 Gran Coupe will be the relatively small rear windows. The F10 beats it hands down in that regard. Even my E93 has better visibility via the rear window than the F06…..
Engine, Power, and tune
Well, the F06 650i has the NEW N63TU engine, which gives out 50 more horses than the N63 of the F10 550i. Yes, I can feel the added power. But I think more important is that the engine management is tuned very differently than the F10 550i. There is absolutely no hesitation in the F06 which was apparent in the F10 550i. The throttle is way more responsive and slightly stiffer then the F10. My F06 has the Adaptive drive so DDC has 4 (and a half) modes: Sport+/Sport/Comfort/Comfort+/Eco Pro<- half a mode. There are noticeable difference of throttle response between Sport/Comfort/Comfort+. Comfort+ is very similar to either the Normal mode or the Comfort mode in the F10 (depending on vehicle year). Comfort is sportier than sport mode in F10, and F06 Sport mode is way sportier than any modes in the F10. Have not tried the Sport+ with the F06 yet……
Acceleration is unreal in the F06 650i in any mode. I may not beat the M5 with DCT, but sure feels real close. I find myself using comfort+ mode a lot more with the F06 then comfort mode in the F10. The F10 550i has no slouch and can accelerate fast. But you still will feel like that you are in a ultra fast sedan, not a sport car. And the F06 acceleration is unmistakably a sport car acceleration. The F06 just yearns to go fast! If the F10 550i feels that I was catapulted off a carrier, the F06 650i definitely has a strapped to a rocket feel to the acceleration. And that’s in ANY MODE.
I think the difference in feel is due to no small part of BMW retuning the engine management of the Gran Coupe to be a sports car, instead of a sedan.
The F06 feels much smaller and nimble than the F10, comparably equipped. I am not talking about the difference between IAS and non-IAS BMWs. My old F10 also has IAS. In windy roads (Stubbs Road, Tai Hang Road, Magazine Gap road, and Repulse Bay drive for Hong Kongers…), I would be very cautious in driving the F10, always minding the sharp turns. I feel that the F10 550i is fairly front heavy, and always mindful of the size of the car.
The F06 Gran Coupe, however, handles and feels like a much smaller car. I had the same feeling when I tested the Audi A7, where it handled like a much smaller car. But the F06 nailed every turn and corner with confidence. I find myself looking forward to gunning the turns instead of trying to balance speed and the front heaviness of the F10 550i. Especially in sport mode, the 650i GC just begs to go thru every turn at speeds similar to how I drive my M3! Amazing! And the F06 feels planted to the road at every turn as well.
In terms of ride comfort, the stock F10 has a rather soft suspension. Even with adaptive drive, the F10 will exhibit a certain degree of boat ride feeling. The F06’s suspension is way more sporty and refined. Even at the comfort+ setting, the F06 does not exhibit much boat ride feeling. And in sport feeling, I can feel much of the bumps in the road, but still comfortable. With the F10, I had to try and figure out how to FIX BMW’s screw up with the suspension. With the F06, I don’t even have to think about aftermarket springs anymore……
In terms of braking, I did think that the brakes were kinda weak when I pick up the F06. However, it maybe a case of the brake pads not properly run-in yet. And now the F06 has no braking problems. However, I may put on some brembos for aesthetic purpose. Yet undecided.
Let’s be honest. If one requires practicality, he would pick F10 over F06 10 out of 10 times. The F06’s trunk has a pretty high floor, so not as easily accessible as the F10. It is deep but opening is narrower than F10 so putting long items in the trunk at an angle maybe challenging. But for daily groceries, normal suit cases, the F06 will not have any problem. The trunk can fit 2-3 golf bags quite easily with room to spare. For “Lengthier” items, the F06 has standard fold down rear seats so it is not a problem. But the barely useful middle rear seat, with a somewhat narrower trunk opening with no electric tailgate closing, the F10 wins over F06 in the practicality aspect.
Well, F06 Gran Coupe is a sports car with 4-doors. F10 is a 4-door sport sedan. Sounds to be very similar on paper. But very different in real life. You have to experience both to appreciate the many differences. But the F06 with only 2 models in Hong Kong (640i/650i, M6 not yet) will be a lot more exclusive vs the multitude of F10 models flooding the city streets. And no matter how one mod the F10, it will never handle better than the 6 Gran Coupe. The chassis are just too different to be compensated by mods alone……
F06 650i Gran Coupe Ruby Black/Dakota Cinamon- 2012-10-12 Adaptive Drive/IAS/Surround View/Adaptive LED/Comfort Seats/BMW 356 Liquid Black/Michelin PSS 245/35R20-285/30R20
E93 M3 Cabriolet Satin Pearl White/CR - 2012/03/12
Bilstein PSS10/ Michelin PSS 245/35R19-265/35R19 Brembo GT
2011 F10 550i M Sport - Retired