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  • Bahnstorming straight-line speed and great engine note; on-limit dynamics are a treat; superb interior styling and finish; ride quality compromise in Comfort mode
  • Stability control overly intrusive; steering and ride quality inconsistent between modes; power delivery makes for edgy response; expensive compared with four-door M5

OUR RATING
7 / 10



BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review

The BMW M6 Gran Coupe lands to compete with two sets of segments – fast sedans, and fast coupes – but it aims to neatly blend both of them.

Gran Coupe stands for a four-door version of a two-door coupe, in this case the regular BMW 6 Series. It shares its engineering fundamentals with a proper four-door sedan, the M5, which costs $70,000 less; and its styling and low-slung driving position with the M6 coupe that costs $8500 more.

BMW insists that the M6 Gran Coupe is a sportier drive than the M5 – thanks primarily to a low-slung driving position, wider tracks and a lower centre of gravity – but it equally admits the extra charge over the M5 is down to lashings of leather on the dashboard, sexier styling and not much else.

The BMW M6 Gran Coupe gets a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with 412kW of power and 680Nm of torque. It gets a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, an active M differential, specifically tuned adaptive M suspension, and other key details, all shared with the M5.

It looks superb in the flesh: low, muscley, and sporty.

The M6 Gran Coupe also lives up to its maker’s promise of delivering a far richer interior than the M5. Wonderful seats are claimed to be covered in the highest grade of leather available to the company, and it certainly feels that way, while the alcantara-and-leather-clad roofline maintain a plush consistencty. The snug, driver oriented cockpit is both ergonomically sound and brilliantly finished.

BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review

It’s highly commendable that BMW has included a centre-rear lap-sash seatbelt in the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, even if the bulging centre console relegates the middle position to a ‘sometime seat’.

If a car is this large and weighty, it really should have a middle seatbelt, and the M6 Gran Coupe does.

Options at this level are few and (literally) large – a $12,000 Competition Package with extra power and dynamic tweaks (see here), carbon ceramic brakes claimed to resist fade longer ($24,000), and 1200-watt Bang & Olufsen audio ($14,000). Our test car only came with an optional ($950) digital radio tuner.

On the road, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is quiet and quick. The engine sounds fantastic, its smooth warble staying flat-pitch but only getting louder towards its 7200rpm cut-out, and accompanied by an exhaust blurt after gearshifts.

Although you can individually choose between Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes for the throttle response and power delivery, steering weighting, and suspension compliance, on the road there really is only one choice…

The standard Comfort mode provides light steering weight, yet regardless of setting, the variable rack ratio remains the same. So what you get with Sport is a heavier weighting, and in Sport Plus this gluggy resistance that almost feels like there’s not enough power assistance being supplied. Only out on the track does Sport Plus make sense (more later).

It’s a similar story for the suspension. In this case the ‘Comfort’ setting, in conjunction with 30-aspect 20-inch wheels, makes the M6 Gran Coupe feels slightly edgy and occasionally lumpy on backroads. Yet it doesn’t allow the body to float over crests in the road, and and is never absolutely harsh, so it is an acceptable blend for a super-sports sedan.

BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review

There are, however, rivals that can deliver a more plush ride and better control – including the $375K Aston Martin Rapide and Bentley Continental Flying Spur – while the cheaper ($263,000) Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG and ($189,900) Jaguar XF-R deliver that a more comfortable ride at the expense of control.

Choosing the Sport or Sport Plus suspension settings in the M6 Gran Coupe increases impact harshness notably, and the car becomes overly abrupt on rebound over larger bumps. One country road bump caused the rear wheels to bounce off line and panic the stability control, which is neither sophisticated for a suspension tune nor premium-feeling for a driver.

The M6 Gran Coupe feels its weight in corners and struggles to use any of its power while the stability control is switched on. Even feather-footing the throttle gets the yellow stability control light flashing out of bends, as it struggles to put 680Nm instantly to the ground. And it is instantly. If the tachometer reads between 1500rpm and 5750rpm, then every touch of the throttle means the M6 engine sends all its torque to the back wheels.

Gone are the days of non-turbo BMWs, with linear throttle delivery where the amount of throttle applied dictated how much power was delivered to the rear wheels. Now, however, the throttle in the M6 Gran Coupe acts like a light switch – and delivers a football to the face – making it an all or nothing performer.

BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review

The upside to this change in personality is absolutely superb performance in a straight line. With that full slab of torque, wonderful engine sound, yet hushed road noise, the M6 Gran Coupe demolishes distance with ease. It also rewards commitment from its driver, which is easier to do on a race track than it is on the road.

Switch the stability control to the more relaxed M Dynamic Mode (MDM) and, when driven with intent, the M6 Gran Coupe is ultimately a finely controlled and beautifully balanced car.

Particularly for a big, 1875kg sedan the M6 Gran Coupe can hustle very hard. Phillip Island’s corner two – a long, cresting double apex – is seemingly designed to sort out the front end sharpness of a road car. It’s here that the heavy engine up front means the front end wanders slightly, requiring driver patience to keep it on line.

The circuit is fast, dotted with tighter corners. Particularly in them, the M6 Gran Coupe displays wonderful composure and poise. On the straights between them it feels every bit as quick as its 4.2 second 0-100km/h time suggests.

It playfully kicks its backside out on tight bends, yet the M Dynamic Mode proves masterfully tuned to allow it to do so. Yet it is so effortless that it feels as though you could cut quick lap times using fingertips and listening to Classic Hits Radio…

In some respects the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is a curious mix – difficult to judge on the road, with an intrusive stability control and a remote disposition that makes it feel like a luxury car if not for its firm ride. It really is superbly composed and balanced on a racetrack, yet it has lost something in terms of classic BMW M car intimacy and clear focus of abilities.

BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review

It only justifies its $70K over the M5 sedan if swoopy coupe style and an exquisite interior are a priority, because otherwise the M6 drives much the same. The $70K more expensive Aston and Bentley, meanwhile, feels more sorted and complete overall, though they likely aren’t as talented on a racetrack.

There, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is a fiendishly fast, finely finished, and fantastically frisky executive express.


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BMW M6 BREAKDOWN

BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
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  • bob

    Personally, if I’m spending $300k for a car in the overpriced Australian market we live in, it’s not going to be for a BMW. Not that I have $300k for a car haha…but if I did!

    • racrepus

      As much as I like this Gran Coupe, I’d have to agree. I’d go a V8 Vantage personally if I had a spare 300 grand.

    • DoctorHoon

      To true mate!

      The M6 Gran Coupe is available for $121,793 AUD ($113,000 USD) in the USA and reasonably around that in UK with a higher spec.

      They charge us $299,500, almost 3 times as much!

      Although I’m lucky to be in a position to be able to afford one of these cars (I was about to buy one last week), a chance landing on the USA BMW website has got me well and truly off that line of thought!

      I will be passing this information onto my fellow colleagues who were in the market for a similar car as well.

      • DoctorHoon

        Also even with the corporate discount from the BMW corporate program doesn’t make thing much better either! Still way too much!

        No Thanks BMW

        • hs

          Better save your penny pinching whinging to the Hyundai Accent then.

          All the premium brands with models in the USA over about US$60K are priced at almost 3 times as much here.

  • jay

    Gorgeous car. When you’re in this market (not that I am) you don’t really care about the price.

    • Phil

      Gorgeous, really? Looks to me like an M6 coupe with two extra doors it didn’t need. As far as glamorous Germans go, it ain’t no Heidi Klum.

  • Billy

    Not sure if it is worth 300k when the M5 is cheaper and a purpose built sedan, but it sure does look stunning. It seems BMW have got their act together in the styling department lately.

  • devil666

    This is a stupid car. Want 4 doors? M5. Want a coupe? M6. MErcedes can justify CLS pricing with significantly different body work (not to mention being the segment creator) and Audi has large engineering differences between A5 coupe/sportback and A6/A7 sportbacks – they have a hatch! What is BMW trying to pull here?

    • Peter

      Actually I really like it. It has 5 seats (at a pinch) even though the review doesnt say whether the rear legroom is any good. It is far prettier than a 5 series, but has the functionality of 4 doors. I’ve been and done coupes, they are a pain to get in and out of, so it is 4 doors for me. But it is sooooo expensive. And the dash looks pretty pedestrian. The radio looks as though they grabbed it out of the specials bin. And the car itself is really understated. Not one bonnet scoop, wtf?

  • Hjalle

    I think this is an awesome car! It would be unlivable with though as a daily driver and especially with the optional Competition Package – the ride would be rock hard, I can barely stand the normal X5 with regular suspension

BMW M6 Specs

GRAN COUPE : 4.4L TURBO MPFI - 8 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 4D COUPE
Car Details
Make
BMW
Model
M6
Variant
GRAN COUPE
Series
F06
Year
2013
Body Type
4D COUPE
Seats
4
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
4.4L
Cylinders
TURBO V8
Max. Torque
680Nm @  2000rpm
Max. Power
412kW @  5500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
220.9W/kg
Bore & Stroke
92x82.7mm
Compression Ratio
10.0
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
70
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
9.9L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1865
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1392mm
Length
5007mm
Width
1894mm
Ground Clearance
126mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
12
Front Rim Size
9.5x20
Rear Rim Size
9.5x20
Front Tyres
265/30 R20
Rear Tyres
265/30 R20
Wheel Base
2968
Front Track
1600
Rear Track
1665
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Heated Front Seats
Control & Handling
Adaptive Damping Control, 20 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control Intelligent/Active, Head Up Display, Mobile Phone Connectivity
Engine & Transmission
Dynamic Drive
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Interior
Leather Upholstery
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Entertainment
Premium Sound System
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  25,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
8-M-7
Country of Origin
GERMANY