I don’t know about you but I find BMW very annoying. Let tell me you why, I did something I thought that I would never do. I put on my yellow anorak, a pair of thick rimmed glasses, bucked my teeth and sat in the back of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe. And forgive me for saying this but I actually made the time to check out the headroom, it was limited. There was plenty of knee room however the front seats are bolted as low as possible, to lower the center of gravity which equals better handling. The problem is you don’t have any where to slide your feet under. So you are sitting in the back of this 4 door version of the 6 Series Coupe encased in absolute premier luxury that money can buy but at an uncomfortable and jaunty position.
But I wouldn’t change the Gran Coupe’s looks or lack of hospitality in any way, the limited headroom the uncomfortable rear seating position, it doesn’t matter. I hope BMW rips up the completed survey’s from the focus groups and continues to offer this style and this luxury unaltered. And that’s why BMW are annoying, annoyingly good at making you live with these little compromises. And there is another reason, the M6 Gran Coupe which is nothing short of uncompromising.
The 6 Series Gran Coupe in whatever model spec you go for is the smartest looking car BMW offer right now, better looking than the 2 door coupe its based upon and in M6 mode its one of the most expensive ‘Beemers’ you can get. The 2015 Six Series has undergone a mid-life cycle update, so you get slightly more efficient engines, exterior design tweaks, LED that and slightly better everything else besides. In fact its all subtle so much so you won’t notice. But there is nothing subtle about the M6 Gran Coupe.
Its powered by a 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 and you won’t be surprised to learn what it gives back to you is more than just power, its more than just 560bhp and 680Nm of torque. What it gives back are those ethereal and infinitesimal relentless moments you never knew existed. There is no official warning about this latent power lurking beneath the sleek and well crafted body of this 4-door supercar.
Push the starter button, drive away and the immediate experience all seems serene. When the road ahead is clear and you finally decide to floor the throttle the surge of power feels as though its running through your veins it feels unstoppable courtesy of an upgraded dual clutch 8 speed gearbox.
BMW want you to know about its new connected car technology, that’s internet on the go, but the power, the handling and the ride, this is truly the only connection you will ever need to consider behind the wheel of an M6 Gran Coupe. It’s that rare feat of machine intertwined with the physical spirit, the moment you realise that power really is corruptible if used for the right purposes.
“the M6 Gran Coupe has a number of psychological disorders that ultimately renders it insane, its still easy to drive or so you would assume”
The M6 Gran Coupe comes loaded with driver technology such as Launch Control, Damper Control, Adpative Drive which includes roll stabilisation, Integral Active Steering which has a slight bias towards rear wheel steering. And of course the Active M differential. These technologies are accessed by three driver modes Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. The steering too has these three modes, they are designed to alter the characteristics of the driving experience, make it sharper, more alive.
It was a short test, so it was full on Sport Plus mode. The latter has the advantage of sharpening up the steering, suspension and throttle response. Overall the ride is firm but comfortable over slow and fast bumps, body roll is all but inert. The electronic steering is well calibrated, its quick to respond to your input and it relays the road ahead with accuracy allowing you point the M6 into and out of corners with considerable fortitude. You would never know this is a near two-ton car. The steering, ride, handling its all working as one and not at polar opposites and the level of grip available is almost unrelenting. Sitting behind those 20-inch, double spoke alloy wheels are the carbon ceramic brakes, it’s a £6k premium but worth it because the stopping power is immense. Initially you have to get used to how sensitive they are and re-adjust accordingly.
Then there is the speed, it does 0-60mph before you can even think of reaching 60mph because you’re already there. That is to say not only does it feel fast, it is as fast as the stats claim. There is fury lurking beneath the luxury and refinement, yes the BMW V8 is a wonderful piece of engineering, how many times has that been said, its both raw and refined when its required, like a world champion boxer eating in a fine dining restaurant after a tile bout.
The dual clutch gearbox is slightly clumsy at pedestrian speeds, battle your way out of the urban mix and into the country lane jungle and this is where it feels most at home, it even blips and cackles on the downshift aided no doubt by a new slightly larger sports exhaust that is fitted to all petrol variants for 2015. It all adds to an unexpected drama courtesy of the magician’s over at BMW’s special operations department otherwise known as the M division, the German equivalent to automotive rap and the bad language is recognized by the roar of the V8 at full throttle.
“There is a fury lurking beneath the luxury and refinement, yes the BMW V8 is a wonderful piece of engineering, how many times has that been said, its both raw and refined when its required.”
And yet all this fury is contained in that elegantly designed exterior and luxury interior. The M6 Gran Coupe is the flagship offering of the model range and you can safely bet that is fully loaded with kit. Do you really need soft-closing doors at £466? It seems a bit ridiculous when you think about it because people will hear the mighty roar of that V8 before you arrive. All told the M6 Gran Coupe on test was fitted with £16k of options raising the total price to £93k.
Many modern day supercars are becoming much easier to drive, they are loosing a bit of the madness. However the M6 Gran Coupe has a number of psychological disorders that ultimately renders it insane, its still easy to drive or so you would assume. But that madness of the V8, the power, it sits on your shoulders urging you to go faster and faster before you realise just how mad the M6 Gran Coupe really is.
So at this point you want to know about boot space, mpg? Get the hell out of here, ultimately this is a performance car I don’t need to clarify such meaningless details. I end this review almost exactly where it started, BMW are annoying, annoyingly good at delivering a raw driving experience in its most purest form and the M6 Gran Coupe lives up to the hype.