We recently tested, and thoroughly enjoyed, the high performance BMW M6 in convertible form; but thought the M6 coupe might be much better tested at a proper race track. So, come along as we go full throttle and put this high-tech, high-performer through its paces.
And what they’ve done is create a track monster that clings to corners like it’s hanging on for dear life. The corners that we chose to hustle it through are the nine at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, Georgia, and after finding our way around them mucho times, we can say that the M6 feels far better in high speeds sweepers, than tight “esses”.
It’s not that it’s not nimble enough, the totally revised suspension is super-rigid, and the car stays nice and flat, but it is very heavy. 4,255 pounds to be exact, despite a carbon fiber roof panel, though reducing weight up top where you want it the least, helps. The optional M Carbon Ceramic Brakes on our test car worked great, though at $8,700 you’d better plan on doing lots of hard braking to justify the cost. Steering is somewhat lethargic; even with the M-specific Servotronic set to Sport Plus.
Combine that with plenty of electronic driving aids and you get a driving experience that’s capable, but hard to enjoy as you never feel like you’re in control at any time; you’re kind of just along for the ride. It is a great ride; so don’t get us wrong. It’s just not an extension of your soul like M cars of old.
But once you get off the track and on the street, you’ll see why those compromises were made, as despite all of the M6’s performance; it feels positively gentle on the road. The 7-Speed M Double Clutch Transmission gets its Drivelogic specifically calibrated for the M6 Coupe and feels more refined than previous M DCT’s.
Exterior design takes a big turn from the standard 6-series Coupe, with new few front and rear fascias, both for function and for sheer “bad-to-the-bone-ness”. Traditional M elements, like widened fenders with M gills and menacing quad exhaust tips are on display, and full LED headlights are optional.
There’s a stunning combo of colors and textures, as our test cars orange metallic finish really pops in contrast to the carbon fiber roof and gold brake calipers. 20-inch M light-alloy wheels are available, replacing the standard 19’s, wrapped in 265/35 rubber up front, 295/30 in the rear. A body-colored deck-lid spoiler adds aggression as well as down-force, and compared to the M5, the M6 just looks much more brutish and purposeful.
Beneath the heavily-lined hood and behind the double-slatted kidney grilles, lies the heart of this beast, 8 cylinders beating in rhythm with the help of twin-turbos nestled inside its tight V, pumping out 560-horsepower and 500 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels. We’re not sure if it’s the lack of turbo lag or the new Active M differential, but it puts the power down like few other cars. Both acceleration and shifting are neck-snapping affairs.
Our 0-60 time of 4.3-seconds was three ticks off our time of the M6 convertible, but frigid track temperatures didn’t help our cause. We came much closer to the quarter mile time however, at 12.4-seconds and 115 miles-per-hour.
The M6’s living space is a great place to while away both miles and hours, as the driver-centric cockpit layout is both purposeful and luxurious. Seats are comfortable enough for an uber-sports car and the 3-point steering wheel feels great and looks classic. iDrive manages most functions of course, and I guess it has worn us down as the more time we spend with it, the less we seem to mind it.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 14-City, 20-Highway, and 16-Combined; and we managed to squeeze out 17.0 miles per gallon of Premium.
And now for the big numbers; putting an M6 Coupe in your driveway will cost you $110,545.
The 2013 BMW M6 is clearly an M car in every respect. But while it offers all of that performance and is impressive to look at, the overall driving experience left us wanting. It’s stuck in between being too heavy to feel great on the track, and feeling too purposeful for a primo Grand Tourer. But, if you’re looking for an exclusive, high-tech, high performer that also turns heads, the M6 is it.
Engine: 4.4 liter
Torque: 500 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.4 seconds @ 115 mph
EPA: 14 mpg city/ 20 mpg highway