£95,665 Price range
There may be very few functional differences between M6 Gran Coupe and its more practical saloon brother – or indeed between the Gran Coupe and the M6 Coupe – but the Gran Coupe’s extra style really does make a difference, and the car feels more special than the M5 behind the wheel. Reviewers were never likely to be less than impressed, but BMW really does expect you to pay for the privilege of that sleek bodywork…
Inside, the M6 Gran Coupe feels special. That’s largely thanks to a low-slung driving position that feels more sporty than the M5 with which it shares an engine and basic underpinnings. Drivers say it “adds to the sense of occasion”, though does make visibility a struggle, with a long, low bonnet and sweeping pillars that cut away your view. It’s worth noting that the M6 can feel very wide from that low seating position too, affecting your confidence when piloting the car on twisty roads or around town.
The sweep of the roofline also compromises rear seat space for taller passengers, though most should find enough head and leg space behind the driver. With a 460-litre boot, there’s also plenty of luggage space, though Audi’s RS7 is decreed the more practical rival thanks to its hatchback layout – the Gran Coupe has a regular saloon boot.
Despite the rakish looks, BMW has tweaked the M6 Gran Coupe for a softer setup than the M5 saloon, though thanks to adaptive damper settings you don’t lose the hardcore element either. For virtually all testers, it’s the better car to drive as a result. “It really is possible for the car to play both the role of luxury cruiser and back road bruiser in the same day” says one reviewer, and everything from steering to throttle response to gear changes can be fiddled with to create the sports saloon of your choosing.
Traction from the wide rear tyres is impressive, though with as much power as the M6 has it can still struggle to contain it, particularly on wet roads. Overall grip is high, and while a few testers would like a little more steering feel, the Gran Coupe is still responsive for a big car. The optional ceramic brakes are powerful.
There’s only one engine in the M6 Gran Coupe, though if you want more you can always venture down the 6 Series Gran Coupe range for diesels and the like. M6 buyers will be more than happy with the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 installed here, which puts out 560 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque from just 1,500 rpm.
Performance is immense, as you’d probably expect. One reviewer says the opportunities to extend the engine on British roads are rare – it’s a real license-loser, this one. There’s absolutely no turbo lag from the big engine and performance is “savage” when you put your toe down – fast up to 5,000 rpm and ballistic from that point onward. At the same time, it can really settle down at a cruise so long-distance refinement isn’t a worry.
Nor is economy, to a certain extent. 28.5 mpg combined won’t be saving any polar bears but it’s perfectly respectable given the punch on offer, and on-par with rivals.
There are, predictably, few complaints here. It "accelerates with the ferocity you'd expect" and turns from fast to ballistic once you cross 5,000 rpm. This is a car in which to fear your license - apparently, hitting 150 mph is very easy to do.
Its eager all the way through the rev range and while a few testers reckon a standard torque converter auto would be smoother, the ferocity of the dual-clutch gives it a different character. It's still "perfectly capable of being civil" when you need it to, too.
This is where the M6 Gran Coupe becomes harder to justify. It’s £4k more expensive than the M6 coupe with its two fewer doors, and a good £24,000 more than the BMW M5 – which has exactly the same drivetrain, don’t forget. Running costs will be pretty steep too, as will depreciation.
The near-£100k tag is a little eye-watering and you’d have to really like the style to justify it rationally… but who says things have to be rational?
On price alone there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should buy an M6 Gran Coupe, yet factor in the car’s great looks, comfortable (yet ballistic) drive and the mix of coupe and saloon-style practicality, and there’s a lot to like here.
In fact, it’s likeable enough that several testers put this at the top of their M-car tree, recommending it over the M5 for anyone able to spare the extra cash.