First Look: BMW M6 Gran Coupé
BMW M has always been synonymous for sporty and luxurious automobiles. When the BMW Motorsport GmbH was launched in 1972, the target was clearly defined: development and production of a powerful car that can serve as the basis for a motor sport racing car. The result of six years of engineering premiered in 1978 and is still the most famous car of the M brand, the BMW M1. The BMW M6 Gran Coupé, the latest development of the BMW M, made its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2013 in Detroit, joining the existing M6 Coupé and Convertible in the BMW lineup.
BMW is a bit late in the new four-door coupe segment (Mercedes-Benz launched the first four-door coupe, the CLS, back in 2004 and Audi introduced the A7 in 2010) but it is clearly making up for lost time by premiering the M-version only a few month after the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé went on sale. Looking at the competition, Mercedes-Benz currently offers a high performance version, the CLS 63 AMG and Audi has the recently-introduced RS7.
The BMW M6 Gran Coupé is powered by a high revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology. The same engine powers the BMW M6 Coupé and Convertible as well as the M5 sedan. A pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, high precision direct fuel injection, and variable intake geometry provide a maximum power output of 560 horsepower (412 kW) and a peak torque of 502 pound-feet (680 Nm) between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) is accomplished within 4.2 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). BMW claims a combined fuel economy of 9.9 l/100 km (23.7 mpg) in the EU test cycle.
The look of the BMW M6 Gran Coupé has all of the typical BMW M hallmarks. Large air intakes, adaptive LED headlights, and a specially designed M kidney grille dominate the front and combine technical requirements with a sporty design language. It was shown in Detroit with the 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with double-spoke design and a black high-gloss shadow line. The innovative carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof gives the M6 Gran Coupé a unique look.
In the M6 Gran Coupé, function and form work together: the car has a lower center of gravity, a CFRP diffusor, and twin exhaust tailpipes at the rear end of the car.
Options for the car include driver assistance features, such as the Speed Limit Info and the Lane Change Warning along M-specific options such as the BMW Head-Up Display, M multifunction seats and M carbon-ceramic brakes. Also available is an M Driver’s package that includes special driver training and an increase in the electronic speed limit from a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) to 305 km/h (189 mph).
The BMW M6 Gran Coupé will be on sale in Europe in May 2013, one year after the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé, but no plans have been announced to bring the newest M automobile to the U.S.
|Base price||€128,800 incl. 19% VAT|
|Drivetrain||Front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine||4.4-liter turbocharged V-8|
|Transmission||7-speed M Double Clutch|
|Curb weight (pounds)||4,300|
|Length x width x height (inches)||197.3 x 82.9 x 54.8|
|0-60 mph (seconds)||4.2|
|City/Highway fuel economy (mpg)||16 / 31|
(Photos: Accura Media Group)