BMW M6 Gran Coupe review
The four-door BMW M6 Gran Coupe is the most expensive and luxurious car yet from the high-performance 'M' brand
The BMW M6 Gran Coupe is the first four-door model to wear the M6 badge, and it is designed to go head-to-head with the thrilling Mercedes CLS 63 AMG and Audi RS7. It was revealed at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show and is expected to be the best-selling M6 in the UK, as it offers more practicality than the two-door Coupe and Convertible models. Like the standard 6 Series Gran Coupe, its wheelbase has been extended by 113mm to improve rear legroom, but it also benefits from a big 1,265-litre boot. It's powered by the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as the BMW M5, which helps propel it from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds – a tenth faster than the M5, and two tenths quicker than its Mercedes rival. There's only one trim level but the options list is long and includes expensive extras like carbon ceramic brakes and soft-vclose doors. Ticking a few boxes can easily push the asking price well past the £120,000 mark and into the same territory as the likes of the Porsche Panamera Turbo.
Our Choice: M6 Gran Coupe
Despite measuring almost five metres in length, the M6 Gran Coupe still looks just as good as the two-door version. The extra set of doors fit neatly into the overall profile and the low-slung roof and long bonnet remain unchanged. Like the Coupe model, the Gran Coupe gets a fixed carbon-fibre roof to help lower the centre of gravity and minimise weight. The M6 gets its own unique styling features, including a twin-spoke grille design, bigger air intakes and quad exhausts, as well as huge 20-inch alloys that are fitted as standard. on the inside, the wraparound dashboard is covered with soft-touch leather and carbon fibre weave, and the driving position is excellent, thanks to standard-fit electric sports seats. The switch gear and iDrive infotainment system are both familiar from the rest of the BMW range, but buyers might reasonably expect something a bit more special for over £100,000.
For a car that weighs almost two tonnes, the M6 Gran Coupe handles brilliantly. Variable dampers come as standard and provide a comfortable ride, even in the firmest Sport+ mode. The M6 also comes with an Active 'M' differential that shuffles torque across the rear axle to the wheel with the most grip, which ensures that the M6 Gran Coupe has loads of grip even on wet roads. The 4.4-litre V8 engine produces 552bhp and is turbocharged for a massive 680Nm of torque. As a result, it feels savagely quick. The responsive seven-speed gearbox manages the power well, but if anything the M6 is too capable. It tackles roads so well that the performance is barely accessible at legal speeds and, although its quiet and comfortable ride make it an excellent grand tourer, the muted soundtrack means it's nowhere near as exciting to drive as the cheaper Mercedes CLS 63 AMG.
The 4.4-litre engine has been tried and tested in the M5, while many of the other mechanicals have been used elsewhere in the BMW range, which bodes well for the M6 Gran Coupe in this area. However, a few M5 owners have reported mysterious electrical gremlins, but hopefully these will have been ironed out for the Gran Coupe. The huge range of optional safety equipment includes surround-view, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Park Assist, Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System. A full colour head-up display is fitted as standard, which means the driver never has to take their eyes off the road.
Despite having a longer wheelbase than the two-door car, the Gran Coupe is not as spacious as a Porsche Panamera or Mercedes CLS. Legroom for rear passengers is decent, but the low roof cuts into headroom and the middle seat in the back is virtually non-existent as it straddles the transmission tunnel. The 460-litre boot is deep enough to accommodate large suitcases and the rear seat backs fold down in a 40:20:40 split to free up a maximum 1,265 litres of space. In a car this size simple tasks like finding a parking space or tackling a multi-story can become quite difficult, though, and this is even more true of the Gran Coupe than the other M6 models in the range.
Like any other super saloon, the M6 Gran Coupe will be prohibitively expensive to run. It has a starting price of almost £100,000 before options, and despite being much more economical than the previous M6 it still only manages 28.5mpg and emits a whopping 232g/km of CO2. In mixed driving you can expect to achieve just over 20mpg and fill ups will cost you more than £100 per tank of premium unleaded. Other costs like insurance will also be considerable, while residual values will be equally hefty.