The 2016 BMW M6 Gran Coupé Blends Aggressive Style and Performance with a touch of Elegance. We put the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 powered coupe to the test.
The BMW M6 makes a bold statement wherever it goes. The potent combination of its unique styling, breathtaking performance, and glorious rumble guarantee that you will always draw a crowd when behind the wheel, but hopefully, not the attention of a speed enforcement officer.
The Marino Blue exterior of our test vehicle is available as a no extra charge option on the M6, and is an exclusive colour for this special machine.This striking paint colour does an exceptional job of enhancing the cars graceful lines and menacing curves, and the carbon fibre roof and aerodynamic aides announce the car’s sporting intentions with full effect.
It is this bold styling that helps set the M6 apart from its many rivals, but one must not forget that it is dynamic handling and well-rounded performance that helped BMW’s grand tourer establish itself as a benchmark in its category. There are three models available – coupe, cabriolet, and four-door Gran Coupe. The latter is the most usable as a daily driver or family hauler as its rear seats are roomy enough for two average adults and the additional doors make for efficient ingress and egress. The other two models offer rear seating, but it is best reserved for gym bags and other small items.
Under the Hood: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine
The M6 sports the company’s mighty 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, a technological tour-de-force that produces a prodigious 560 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of tire searing torque. This is the same unit one finds in the company’s thunderous sport activity offerings, the X5M and X6M, as well as the iconic M5 sedan. However, this gem of a power plant is well-sorted and ultra-smooth, and due to its twin-turbo design, turbo lag is non-existent. In fact, the M6 will storm to 100 kilometres-per-hour from a standstill in a mere 4.1 seconds.
7-speed M dual-clutch Transmission
Shifting duties fall to a lightning quick 7-speed M dual-clutch unit that transitions up and down the gearbox with seamless precision, whether directed by the driver via paddle shifters, or left to make decisions on its own accord. It should be noted that the M6 is one of the few high-performance offerings on the market that can be still be ordered with a manual transmission should you wish to row your own gears, and this six-speed unit is available, like the Marino Blue paint, at no extra charge.
The car’s teardrop shape represents an evolution of the brand’ s long lineage of sporty GTs, hearkening back to the sexy CSLs of the 1960s and the pretty 6 Series cars of the late 1970s and 1980s. Its aerodynamic shape is enhanced by subtle spoilers, flares and bulges to give the car a more aggressive look, but it also helps to keep this exuberant performer planted to the road surface when driven near the limit.
Minor styling revisions have been made to both the front and rear fascias, the grille, and lighting units. LED lighting is now standard on all M6 models.
Competition Package ($8,500): Adds 600-hp
For those buyers who are looking to maximize the fun-factor and extract the most from the M6 there is a new Competition Package ($8,500) available that boosts engine power up to a potent 600 ponies and a host of other performance tweaks also come along for the ride – including an uprated suspension (stiffer springs, dampers, bushings, and anti-roll bars); sharper steering; and a more track friendly stability control system. Add to this unique 20-inch Double Spoke M alloy wheels and a sport exhaust system with black titanium tips.
On the road the M6 is happy to cruise along at almost any speed, and the driver’s cockpit has been optimized to ensure that all controls and switchgear are within easy reach of both hand and eye. The heavily side-bolstered sports seats will hold all but the slimmest body in place when driving the car near its limits, and due to what seems like infinite adjustability, this leather-clad throne proved comfortable enough for daily commutes and extended touring.
The car seems to be happiest at highway speeds and above, so one has to be very careful to monitor the car’s speedometer on a regular basis as the car is so smooth that you may endanger your license in short order. Luckily there is a heads-up display to broadcast your velocity on the windshield as a reminder, which also allows you to keep your eyes on the road ahead rather than glancing down at the clustre.
…this gem of a power plant is well-sorted and ultra-smooth, and due to its twin-turbo design, turbo lag is non-existent. In fact, the M6 will storm to 100 kilometres-per-hour from a standstill in a mere 4.1 seconds.
Steering is hydraulic and communicative, and it responds to driver inputs and corrections with lightning speed and surgical precision. Although the M6 has been engineered to deliver a high-performance driving experience, it is still a very heavy automobile. In fact, the M6 weighs in at well over two tonnes. However, its prodigious power and athletic handling prowess easily overcomes the added mass that comes along for the ride.
The well-sorted chassis and enormous Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires help keep this car stable and planted whether accelerating like a banshee or sharpening your cornering skills on a sinewy back country road. Add to this the ability to dial the car’s handling and performance parameters using BMW’s drive controls to select between Comfort, Sport, and Sport + settings. Of course the latest in stability and traction controls are also on board, as are enormous ABS- supported brakes.
Fit-and-finish is exceptional inside and out, but that is expected in a car priced well into the six figures. While there are a wide array of automobiles available once you venture into this price category, few offer the curb appeal, luxury, and enthusiastic driving properties that the M6 possesses, and I for one have long been a fan.
The next generation BMW i8 has been rumored to be getting a big power bump. And when we say big, we mean Lamborghini beating power from an all electric platform. The next generation i8 is said to incorporate three brushless electric motors and a big displacement battery which will also up the car’s range to around 300 miles.
The new platform will generate approximately 270hp from each electric motor, and when you multiply that by three that puts the horsepower count just north of 800hp. Although the directly translation of power isn’t exactly three times itself based on having three motors, but it still gives us a good indication of the potential of the new i8. And that indication is a big jump from the current generations 420hp.
The tentative production date of the next i8 is sometime around 2022. With the push of so many automakers going into the EV space, the future of high performance EV cars is become a very interesting one.
Ever since the emission scandal hit the news from Volkswagen, diesel sales in North America has dropped dramatically and emission regulations have become even more tightly scrutinized by the Environmental Protection Agency on any diesel vehicle approved to be sold in the US. One of the cars which has been greatly delayed by testing and red tape is BMW’s 2017 diesel. The EPA required BMW to pass rigorous testing in order for their car to be given a clean OK for sales in the US. This is just a hint at what’s more to come with the diesel industry as a whole in the US.
Any diesel vehicle being manufactured over seas and shipped into the US for sales will go through the stringent testing set forth by the EPA. The next on the list will be Mercedes’ 2017 diesel vehicles which are still going through the regulator’s testing process. Volkswagen, the company that started it all, still has a stop sale on their 2016 diesel vehicles because they can’t get them to pass the emission standards.
Renowned BMW tuner AC Schnitzer has worked their magic on the new M3 and M4 and they seriously didn’t disappoint! True to ACS tradition, they’ve taken a stock car and massaged every inch of it to create a masterpiece.
Starting from the ground up, customers can order up their car with three wheel size options from 19-21 inches. ACS has taken the route of making a forged wheel option to keep the rolling mass down. Moving up, I mean down, the car sits of a sport tuned suspension that lowers the car by 1.6 inches in the front and 1.2 inches in the rear to give it a more aggressive stance and handling characteristics. If that ride height is too low, not to worry as ACS installed adjustable coilovers to allow you to control your suspension the way you want.
Next up are the body modifications. ACS gives customers the option of a full aero kit that includes front, side, and rear treatment as well as a new spoiler. The kit can be ordered complete, or piece meal depending on the customer’s desires. Getting into its guts, ACS has gone through the engine and given it a bit of a power bump via a tuned software and a sport tuned exhaust. Those two modifications might not sound like a lot, but software tuning alone on BMW’s 3.0L twin turbo power plant yields a nearly 75hp bump from stock.
BMW is offering up the AC Schnitzer option now so order while its hot.
BMWs are designed for driving pleasure, but when production issues get in the way of that motto BMW does the right thing and issues a stop-delivery order on 202 cars that have been affected. The issue is with their M2, M3, M4, M5, and 5 and 6 Series models that were produced between May 12 and July 4, 2016, and has been identified as a rear differential problem.
No official statement has been released on what the exact issue is, but it is a big enough problem that BMW is stopping sales and ensuring a proper fix is in place before returning to normal production schedule. Customers who have one of these vehicles on order are encouraged to contact their local dealership to determine if their vehicle is part of the stop-delivery.
BMW is producing a very limited run of M5s called the Competition Edition, but it won’t be offered to the North American market. The car will be made in a limited run of 200 units and will feature a number of improvements over the standard and very capable M5.
First up on the upgrade list is a modified engine that bumps the performance of the 4.4L V8 to 600hp and 520lb/ft of torque. That’s a significant horsepower bump over the standard engine which churns out 560hp and 500lb/ft of torque. With the engine power bump, you have to have some massaging of the suspension to handle the new found power. BMW added larger sway bars, sport springs and a sport tuned dampers, and tweaked the steering system to provide more feedback and more direct input for the performance sedan.
On the outside, the Competition Edition M5 will feature carbon fiber accents over either Carbon Black metallic paint, or Mineral White metallic. Both colors aren’t over the top, but maintains a traditional color palate which suits well for the design of the car. When the car hits European showroom floors, the price tag should just top $140,000.
BMW’s Australian Marketing Manager Marc Werner disclosed that the company is seriously thinking about a ute, or truck as we call them on our shores, for the BMW lineup. We haven’t had many sedan or coupe adaptations into cars for quite some time. Subaru came out with their Outback Baha a while back, and before that the only other memorable vehicle was the El Camino. There really hasn’t been a strong market for these cars in North America as true trucks or SUVs dominate the market. However, as Werner says, “Never say never. We’re watching the space closely.”
With Mercedes introducing a truck into the European and Asian market, BMW is definitely keeping a close eye on what the market demands and will react accordingly. Although the company has historically built performance oriented vehicles, trucks just don’t fully fit into that equation. But hopeful enthusiasts don’t get your hopes up just yet. Werner was quick to manage expectations and stated that their competition could produce trucks much easier than BMW since they already have a division dedicated to commercial fleet.
BMW will be issuing a recall on their SUV’s due to a risk associated to the child seat anchor bars. The issue has been isolated to some European brands of children seats which use a mounting mechanism that can damage the anchor bars in the car. On a positive note, most North American children seats use a flexible anchoring system which does not damage the anchor bars.
BMW’s recall is strictly preventative in nature. Dealers will inspect the vehicle and weld in a reinforcing bracket to ensure the anchor bars cannot get damaged. Vehicles included in this recall are the 2011-2017 BMW X3 and the 2015-2017 X4.
BMW is taking their Grand Coupe name to the 2 series lineup creating a unique 4 door sloped roof version of the current 2 door coupe. Similar to the 4 and 6 series Grand Coupe, the 2 series Grand Coupe’s body style fits right in to compete against its similarly designed competitor Mercedes CLA.
Overall the 2 series Grand Coupe will look very similar to the 2 door coupe version albeit with a slightly longer body profile and a fully functional hatch style trunk. BMW will be offering an M variant of the Grand Coupe as well which will broaden it’s appeal to buyers.
Top Gear Yet Again Fails to Pull in Ratings
Viewers voice is in, and Top Gear isn’t doing too well with it’s new line up of hosts. The rebooted UK TV series hosted by Chris Evans pulled in dismal ratings for its second episode at 2.8 million viewers. While that may sound like a lot, that number is only half of what the old Top Gear pulled in as the average viewer rating, and substantially lower than the predicted 5 million viewers estimated by Evans.
The second episode was also down by 1.5 million viewers as compared to the new series premiere last week. Although official numbers are not in which will include online streaming viewers from iPlayer, it is hard pressed for those numbers to pull in enough ratings to make a substantial difference. What we are seeing is a quick spiral trend downwards for the rebooted Top Gear and that is not a good sign.
News about Toyota and BMW’s partnership to create a new sports car is nothing new. To share in development costs, the two major manufacturers are sharing their development dollars in designing and producing a new platform which will underpin BMW’s Z4 and Toyota’s unnamed sportscar which we all think will be the next Supra.
Although powertrain details have not yet been shared, there’s a lot of buzz around Toyota moving towards hybrid power. The future powertrain could feature a complex hybrid system combining a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from BMW with a trio of electric motors.
Although news has been quiet for a while on any new developments of the Supra, there have been some small ticks of action happening that is leading us to think something might be coming soon. Toyota recently trademarked the name Supra in Europe for use on any vehicle. The automaker took similar steps back in 2014 in the US. So that can only mean that Toyota will want to revive the Supra name at some point for their own use.