The Grand Solution | BMW M6 Gran Coupe

BY Azfar Hashim

Panamera Turbo too mainstream for you, Sir? Then meet the other solution…

Photos: Azfar Hashim

BMW’s M6 Gran Coupe is one stunning car.  Just look at it from any angle you can think of: this car just looks gorgeous. It is low slung, wide and, when viewed from the front, is quite intimidating. With that, I shall call the M6 Gran Coupe - jeng jeng jeng - Scarlett. Yes, Scarlett. After Scarlett Johansson, the actress I am so in love with (let’s hope the other half doesn’t read this, if not I’ll be in for quite the pocket-bursting series of apologies even way before Valentine’s Day).

I fancy Scarlett Johansson simply because she’s quite the talented actress who’s able to adapt to many different characters. For example… ErrErm… Ok, this is turning rather tricky. Oh sod it! I’m just like any other man. I adore her beauty and that God-given svelte figure; and I’m sure you’ll all agree, lads.

Which is, technically speaking, why I am quite attracted to Scarlett. I meant this M6 Gran Coupe (let’s just start calling it the M6 GC). It has such a beautiful, faultless exterior.

(Now I certainly hope I don’t come across as a male chauvinist… Let’s just get on with the car from here on, shall we? Need to stop getting carried away before e-mails from feminist groups start pouring in.)

Ehem. To differentiate the M6 GC apart from the ‘regular’ 6 Series Gran Coupe, one simply can do so by looking at the car’s face. Those sporty looking front bumper that features XL-sized air-intakes, vertical double-slat chrome kidney grills and a subtle ‘M6’ badge on the grill itself. From the sides, the first giveaway has to be the vents just behind the wheels, those huge 20-inch alloys wrapped in 265/35 R-20 front and 295/30 R-20 rear high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubbers. At the rear? More details: chiselled bumper with carbon-fibre diffuser and four exhaust tips to subtly imply “I really mean business here”. Of course, let’s not miss out the most obvious point: the weight-saving carbon-fibre roof. Geez, you really gotta respect the attention to details.

Inside, the M6 GC isn’t that much different from the M5 Competition Pack we've reviewed earlier. Which simply means you get a driver-focused cockpit, carbon-fibre inserts to give you the “racer feel”, logically-placed control buttons and displays, supportive seats all around (although you sit lower in here than in the M5), a full set of Bang & Olufsen speakers (including one that pops up on the dashboard) and Alcantara-clad roof lining (from the A all the way to the C pillars). Being a grand tourer, the M6 GC can only accommodate two passengers at the rear; the third one can only go into the boot. Oh and by the way BMW, I still passionately dislike the red interior.

Under the bonnet of the M6 GC lies the cracking turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 powerplant. Then to compliment the muscle, it gets paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch DCT ‘box. This combination, believe it or not, sends all that 560 bhp and 680 Nm to the rear two wheels; yes this sexy beast is a rear-wheel drive still. Here’s a little wonder by the way: despite the kerb weight that stands in at slightly more than 2-tonnes, it can still sprint to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. Funnily, it feels faster than that in the real world…

It’s never a chore driving the M6 GC. Sure, the neighbours might not appreciate the vocal exhaust burble while idling, but once you get a move on, the cabin feels rather quiet. Fact: you only hear all that engine and exhaust note in the cabin when you really floor the accelerator. When bumbling along at normal expressway speed (which is a challenge of course), with the audio system set to nothing overzealous, it feels relatively comfortable. Setting the suspension system and throttle response to ‘Comfort’, it really gives Lexus something to think about.

The car changes to an all-different animal when everything is set to ‘Sport+’ though. The engine is eager to rev all the way to the 7,000 rpm redline at such a velocity you may want to hold on to the steering wheel as tightly as you could. Over slippery surfaces - and if you have balls of steel - you can push it into some tail-kicking action as the traction control gets all overworked. Scary? You betcha.

But that said when driven in ‘Sport’ mode, the M6 GC doesn’t feel as grounded or stiff as the M5 Competition Pack (CP). Yes, it feels stable with body-roll kept at a minimum still but the M5 CP just feels more assuring as a whole. Probably it’s because the M6 GC comes with frameless windows for all four doors, and that somewhat affected the overall rigidity.

As a whole, the M6 Gran Coupe is one car that puts both style and speed into one package; somehow sounding like — this will come across as a blasphemy in this class — the best value-for-money. It may not feel as luxurious as a Panamera Turbo, and may not have a ferociously big and loud V8 (like the CLS AMG), but it doesn’t fail to thrill the driver. You will still feel satisfied driving this car on a daily basis.

Oh and sorry, no more mention of Scarlett Johansson. (Nervously reads Whatsapp message from the other half.)