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Disadvantages: Keep you chequebook in the glove box as running costs are high, M5 arguably offers greater value for money.
Summary: If you’re in the market for a rapid, luxurious, technically adept two-door 2+2 coupe then you should look no further than the BMW M6. That said some commentators would have you believe that costing a damn sight more than its equally hot-headed four-door saloon cousin – the M5 – just for the sake of a coupe silhouette and the option of going roofless is plain stupidity. But then these are the people who’ve never heard of the joy of six.
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Returning to its former stomping ground the mere mention of the new BMW M6 stirs evocative memories – and unashamed flashbacks - of the immortal M635 CSi models of the 1980s. Which inadvertently means that the Bavarian car maker’s latest six series model to sport the fabled M badge has a lot of expectation heaped on its well-defined shoulders. Question is, can the next generation M6 handle the pressure?
Well it certainly looks the part, bearing an uncanny future-proof resemblance to the 6-Series of yesteryear, albeit with the appropriate nips and tucks, slashes and curves redolent of the here and now. Although beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, you’d be hard pressed to find aesthetic fault with the archetypal Germanic coupe presence of the new M6 from all angles; with the solitary exception of the front elevation which we feel a bit ill-fitting in the completed M6 automotive jigsaw.
Sharing the same sublime 507bhp 5.0-litre V10 power plant epically brought to life in the BMW M5 saloon, legend has it that the new M6 is capable of witnessing 205mph if its flagrant disregard for gravity wasn’t kept in check by the 155mph max speed restrictor. What this on-board nanny can’t control however is a break neck acceleration time that sees a 62mph allowing stretch of black ribbon gobbled up in but 4.6 seconds.
If anything though the M6 benefits from possibly too much thrust and might be construed as a little too intimidating for those super coupe drivers who like their power supply more measured. Although eking out a miserly 400bhp until you depress the aptly named ‘Power’ button the M6 will cruise at an unassuming, leisurely 70mph pace until the proverbial bovines seek refuge.
A three-way driver twiddling suspension programme sets the scene for a firm ride whatever the territory, helped along the way by the Beemers seven-speed sequential semi-automatic gear selection facility (SMG) which eloquently ensures the M6’s progression. Which would be more than adequate if it stopped there but in typical manufacturer fashion it brandishes five differing shift ratio settings; so continuing BMW’s obsession with the technological pursuit of excellence. Often carefully disguised as pointlessness.
EDC, Traction and Stability Control and a Variable Diff Lock would have you casually believe that the M6 is all mouth and no trousers; right up until you disengage the Dynamic Stability Control. At this juncture there’s no place for the driver’s talent – or lack of it – to hide.
The interior of the M6 has all the soft furnishing grace and visual splendour of a gentleman’s private club, as you’d expect to find on an £80K car. Heated leather if you’re left to your own devices and electronic climate control should you be in company for starters, plus the usual electronically-operated everything else. Six airbags, adaptive headlight control switchgear, parking, light, rain and puncture sensors, multi-function steering with flappy paddle gear change, iDrive, head up display, voice recognition control, LOGIC7 hi-fi with 10 speakers, six-disc CD multi-changer and bespoke sat-nav aren’t to be sniffed at.
Elsewhere on the inside and those of a longer inside leg might feel slightly restricted in their movements in the rear of the M6 mind, with headroom also relatively compromised due to those exterior swoops along the rear flanks. Storage-wise and 450-litres of luggage space is more than enough for the weekend jaunts.
Which just leaves us with the ‘living with’ question. Bearing in mind that there’s a whole lot of technology packed into the M6 – Ludites beware – cynics might concur that there’s plenty to go wrong. But in terms of reliability BMW is a by-word for durability, which also pays dividends when it comes to resale prices. That and the exclusivity of the model will result in demand always outstripping supply and keep prices high. Of course given the volume of the power plant – and those magical things it can do – it’s no surprise to learn that the M6 returns a meagre 19mpg. And that its CO2 emission statement will make tree-dwellers positively livid at 362g/km.
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