Maxine Ashford gets behind the wheel of theBMW M6 Gran Coupe to see if the Bavarian company’s most expensive model to carry the exclusive ‘M’ branding lives up to all the hype
A wise philosopher once claimed you can’t improve on perfection, but BMW has just taken that theory, chewed it up and thrown it out the window.
For the Bavarian company has revised its stunning 6 Series range for 2015 and somehow made the line-up even more irresistible.
The 6 Series – now in its third generation – has a long-established reputation for being a vehicle that delivers the highest standards of comfort, handling and technology all neatly packaged in a timeless, elegant and very sophisticated wrapping.
It is available in three styles – Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe – and each model has its own distinctive character and undeniable appeal. And now they boast additional styling features that help give the cars a more grounded and powerful stance.
New for this year’s models are a revised,more prominent kidney grille, a redesigned front bumper, enlarged tailpipes, revised front air intakes, side indicators integrated into the exterior mirrors, a chrome bumper insert which helps accentuate a wider stance,BMW icon LED headlights across the range plus a choice of fresh stand-out colours.
And just a glance inside the latest Beemer reveals the highest levels of luxury and sophistication imaginable with the very finest leathers combining beautifully with contrasting inlays and a high gloss finish to create an interior fit for a prince.
The cars are packed with the very latest in technical innovations and BMW’s ConnectedDrive system, standard across the range, which keeps occupants fully in touch with the outside world. This system delivers full satellite navigation services along with infotainment functions and they are linked to a clear and precise head-up display to provide essential safety and guidance information such as navigational directions and speed limits.
There is even a SIM card which is embedded into the car and offers a Concierge Service which can be tailored to the owner’s requirements and personal preferences. This introduces the likes of real time traffic information to avoid unexpected jams, intelligent emergency call in the event of an accident along with information on hotel vacancies, the location of ATMs, flight updates and even the address of the nearest out-of-hours chemist.
Apart from the styling options, customers can also select from a comprehensive range of Euro6 compliant engines which have resulted in improved efficiency and a reduction to as low as 139g/km in carbon emissions.
There’s no denying the overwhelming success and popularity of the BMW 6 Series with global sales topping the 80,000 mark in the last three years. And out of those purchases almost 50 per cent have been Gran Coupe models,allowing buyers to indulge in the refinement of a 6 Series whilst maintaining a sense of practicality along the way.
That’s because despite its coupe-like styling, this four-door model can actually accommodate passengers and they can even bring along luggage.
But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a bland and rather sensible option becausethe all-singing, all-dancing M6 Gran Coupe model comes complete with 560bhp and 680Nm worth of fire-power that propels the long-wheel-base model to 62mph from a standing start in just 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed that has been electronically-limited to 155mph.
The M6 looks gorgeous from any angle with its sleek streamlined curves, 20-inch alloys, sweeping light clusters, tinted windows and quadruple exhausts. Then there are the gold-coloured carbon ceramic brakes which add £7,395 to the asking price (that’s the cost of a new budget city car these days). And there is M badging and styling cues at every turn that all act as a not-so-subtle reminder that this car is a little bit special.
The interior is equally impressive and oozes sophisticated refinement at every turn. Yet the deep orange full Merino leather upholstery is another hint that the M6 Gran Coupe is not a ‘pipe and slippers’ car and once you strap yourself into those sports seats and use the electrical adjustments to find the perfect driving position then the excitement truly begins.
Push the start button and the car bursts into life with a slightly subdued growl. Add the slightest pressure to the accelerator and that growl rapidly turns into a roar similar to the lions at Longleat Safari Park at feeding time.
But before you set off there is time to explore a few of the car’s many technical innovations. A simple dial allows you to navigate the car’s many built-in systems and there are features such as the dynamic damper control, integral active steering and active drive that allow you to personalise the car’s handling for a made-to-measure driving experience.
And boy, what an experience it is. The 4.4-litre petrol-driven engine delivers incredible power which makes the M6 blisteringly quick out of the starting blocks. But that power is constantly maintained as the vehicle moves up through the seven–speed gearbox. And should you need an extra sudden burst of pace to overtake then the acceleration is instant.
You can take extra control over gear changes via the steering wheel-mounted paddles and the range between gear changes can be adjusted for a more aggressive ride.
Yet despite the awesome power the M6 somehow remains refined, delivering precise steering along with flawless road-holding, which makes a mockery of testing bends and tight hairpins. And noise within the cabin is also relatively low with just the engine’s rumble when pushed hard, and you can’t complain about that.
There are also three driving modes to select from that adjust the vehicle’s handling to suit your mood. They are Comfort, Eco Pro or Sport and are fairly self-explanatory with Eco Pro delivering the best efficiency and Sport offering edge-of-the-seat driving dynamics that are certainly not for the faint-hearted.
All in all, the M6 Gran Coupe is a fantastic piece of kit. It offers limousine-style comfort levels, all the power you could wish for, state-of-the-art safety features and all the technical wizardry imaginable.
To be honest, there are very few cars these days that perform as well as they look, but hand on heart, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is one of them.
BMW M6 Gran Coupe 4.4i
Maximum speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
Mechanics: 4,395cc,eight-cylinder, 560bhp, petrol engine with eight-speed Tiptronic transmission
CO2 emissions: 231g/km
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited miles
Price: £94,750, plus £11,400 extras