In a logical extension of its portfolio, BMW has launched the M6 Gran Coupe. Identified by the automaker as "perhaps the perfect combination" of the M5 and the M6, it is a stretched M6 that sits on the exact wheelbase of the M5. Created essentially from the parts bin, the M6 Gran Coupe's hardware was pre-determined from the start. And that’s a good thing.
|2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe front three quarters|
Under the hood of this rear-driver sits the 560-hp, 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8; BMW's imprecise TwinPower moniker actually refers to a twin-turbo here. Maximum torque is 500 lb-ft, available at 1500 rpm, and all 560 horses are served when the tach spins to at 5750 before arriving at a 7200-rpm redline. BMW claims that the sprint from zero to 60 mph takes a mere 4.1 seconds. That's as quick as the M6 coupe and a somewhat-inexplicable 0.3 second quicker than BMW says the lighter M5 requires. Top speed is a governed 155 mph, which is reached "in only a few seconds more," as the press release optimistically states. Top speed can be raised to 190 mph with the addition of the M Driver’s package. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. There’s no word yet on the availability of a six-speed manual for the M6 Gran Coupe—nor the coupe or convertible, for that matter—which would not only provide a genuine shifting experience but also shave 33 pounds from the four-door’s weight, as it does when fitted in the M5.
|2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe front end|
The M6 Gran Coupe is equipped with an extremely capable chassis, which includes an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, electronically controlled shock absorbers, and a rear subframe bolted to the body. This car still uses hydraulic power steering, electronically adjustable and rather superior to the electromechanical power steering found in lesser versions of the 5- and 6-series. Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional, and they will lower weight by a remarkable 43 pounds. The 20-inch aluminum wheels displayed on this car are specific to the M6 Gran Coupe.
|2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe rear three quarters|
The M6 Gran Coupe is a long sedan from the outside, but from the inside, the coupe moniker comes alive. The seating position in the front is low and snug, just like in the standard M6 coupe, and the rear seats do not offer the room you might expect from a four-door of its size. There actually is room for five, but the fifth person won't be happy—regardless of how petit he or she happens to be. BMW is well aware of the rear-passenger seating arrangement, referring to it as “four-plus-one.”
|2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe Interior|
But practicality is not what the M6 Gran Coupe is about. Instead, it is one of the most beautiful four-door sedans on the market, an automotive dream of luxury, performance, and indulgence. And it’s a good thing this four-door coupe is directed toward all those desirable characteristics and not practicality, because when it hits showroom floors in the summer of 2013, expect to see a sticker price approaching $110,000. At that price, it will cost nearly $20,000 more than a base M5. But that’ll be worth it, purely for the sake of owning the prettiest M5 on the planet.