What is it?
We should start here with a bit of perspective. This BMW 435d xDrive Gran Coupé will hit 62mph in 4.8sec. You thought a 435i was quick? This is 0.5sec faster. In fact, an E90 BMW M3 only did it in 4.7sec.
Okay, the ripper sprint time is partly down to impressive traction from the on-demand four-wheel-drive system of our diesel-engined, four-door, hyper-coupé-saloon-cum-compact-executive.
Whatever you call this particular niche, this top-end 4 series Gran Coupé means to offer proper shock and awe performance, so consider the decent claimed economy of 50.4mpg on offer from the 3.0-litre straight six turbodiesel a mere bonus.
Read our review on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
What's it like?
The four-wheel drive set-up does take the edge off the handling a touch alongside rear-wheel-drive 4 or 3 Series models. That's not to say that the front end doesn't feel satisfyingly pointy, but the xDrive 4 Series does feel heavier in general and more inclined to understeer than the rear-wheel-drive equivalent.
The steering responses feel a bit inconsistent, and some might wish it had a bit more bite around the dead-ahead even in the heavier Sport mode. You also get a fair amount of kick-back, but those are the worst of this car's sins. By any standard, it makes for a really quite epic combination of leggy, relaxing cruiser and monstrously rapid and precise B-road weapon.
Firstly, that powertrain. Blimey, yes, that powertrain. We know from its use in other BMW models that it's got an embarrassment of torque that you can wallow in happily whether you're about town or going for a seven-tenths strop, all aided by the smooth-shifting, eight-speed automatic gearbox.
It even steps up to the mark if you want to really stretch it out, with sharp responses to the (slightly too small) steering-wheel paddles, and an engine that's happier to be revved out than most oil-burners.
The xDrive rear-biased, active four-wheel drive system has its advantages, too. Sure, it dulls turn-in a bit, but of course it also delivers great traction off the line and stoic consistency to its responses even in poor conditions.