Street cred. Some possess it naturally, many want it, but most will never have it. The 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe has it in spades. This car is a rolling statement of success on four wheels. People stop me as I enter the store, going through a drive-thru or pumping gas. Everywhere, they stare as the Alpine White with Vermillion Red leather interior beauty passes by. I haven’t felt this important, ever.
Power comes in the form of a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V90 8-cylinder engine. Decked out with dazzling silver and black accents, it shreds pavement with 400 horsepower at 5,500-6,400 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque at 1,750-4,500 rpm.
Matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters, 0-100 km/h takes just 4.9 seconds to achieve. Top speed is limited at 210 km/h, but BMW does provide the option of increasing this 250 km/h. Actual top speed without restrictions is without doubt higher still.
Exterior styling for the coupe version of the 650i xDrive shares inspiration with the equally stunning cabriolet. An elongated hood sweeps air backwards over the sleek roofline ending in a dramatic flourish as it passes the stylized trunk with rear lip spoiler. The look is both elegant and aggressive, providing a host of visual hot points to draw the eye and stimulate the senses.
Inside, the BMW 650i xDrive Coupe features as an exhaustive list of standard and optional features. My ride includes the Executive Package which adds rear view camera, leather instrument panel with contrast stitching, soft close doors and head-up display plus much more.
Front seating is impeccable, an important fact we will later explore to the fullest extent. Driver and passenger seats adjust in all directions, plus the optional Premium Seating Package adds ventilation, active and comfort settings. Rear seat accessibility is good, but the seats are definitely geared toward small children or bags full of stuff.
Downtown Toronto is our destination of choice on this day. Michael Buble is right, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and that means shopping!
As street cred goes, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, sets the standard by which all Toronto hotels should be rated. It is equal to the BMW 650i xDrive Coupe in looks, detail and craftsmanship.
Walking through the front doors, we are treated to a gala event, fashion models dressed in evening and wedding gowns showcasing the latest trends to a steadily growing, well-manicured crowd. We pass through the tastefully decorated main lobby with large seating areas and winding stairwells, on our way up to one of 267 rooms and suites within the hotel.
Rooms are decorated in subdued earth tones, many with views looking out towards Lake Ontario. All feature 42” LCD HD TV’s, rich African Anigre wood millwork and either king or queen-size beds. Our room is located on the Club Level, a private access oasis located on the top four floors of the hotel.
Dining takes place at TOCA by tom brodi, TOCA Bar and DEQ. TOCA features a classic Canadian menu in a setting that is both rich and inviting. We dine on maple dipped Ontario quail, Wellington County petite mignon topped off with molten chocolate cake for dessert. It is a slice or two of heaven on a plate.
Shopping is at the top of the list for many of the guests staying at the hotel. Taking advantage of its unique location in the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto has just launched a “Retail Therapy” overnight package starting at an aggressively priced $885 per night.
The package includes accommodation in a Deluxe Room, Club Lounge access with all-day food and beverage service, consultation with a person shopping concierge plus a visit to the Spa for the Shop till You Drop Foot Therapy. Who knew spending money could be this much fun!
Driving the 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe on the streets of Toronto is more entertaining than a tree skirt covered with neatly wrapped presents waiting to be ripped open. Care has to be taken so as to not pass everyone else on the road. But the 650i Coupe is very adept at maintaining poise while at the same time letting all others know who is boss.
The day passes quickly as we follow the trail set out for us and explore some of the hidden gems Toronto is famous for. Arriving back at the hotel in the 650i xDrive Coupe at sunset, puttin’ on the Ritz is a fitting end to our day. Off to the spa, these dogs are tired.
2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe
Price as tested (before taxes): $132,400.00
Configuration: front engine/ four-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 4.4L 8-cyl. / 8-spd manual
Power/torque: 400 hp/ 450 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Premium (70L)
Competitors: Audi S5, Jaguar XK Coupe; Maserati GranTurismo; Mercedes-Benz SL Class; Porsche 911 Carrera