M6: the fast fun machine
But the $300K could be better spent elsewhere
better-looking coupe and cabriolet bodies of the 6 Series grand tourers.
The M6 is not a racer but it would take something very seriously quick— let’s say a Nissan GT-R— to get away from it around Lakeside.
My ice-white M6 coupe is one in a fleet of six cars that has been rolled out byBMW Australia for a short peek into life with its muscle-car flagship. We have 120km on regular roads and an hour at the track to see whether the M6 coupe and cabriolet can live up to the promises.
The cabrio (from $308,500) makes an instant impact with its classy cabin and a top-down look that turns heads wherever we go. It’s not big in the boot and the back seat is really only for toddlers but the front seats give you everything you could want or need in a luxury car.
It’s much the same with the coupe and I admit it would be my choice over the cabrio every time. It’s lighter and tighter but, for me, it’s all about sunscreen and protection from the Queensland summer burn. Then again, if I had $300,000 to buy something fast and fun I’d be more likely to be stopping at the Porsche dealership.
My time with the M6s is my second go-round with the car, following the global press preview of the cars in Spain earlier this year. In Europe, on roads made slippery by sand and heat, the M6s seemed over-powered and under-done and I was keen to get them home for a second look.
They make a better impression here as the heavyweights— and they are heavy— cope much better with lumps, bumps and humps than I had anticipated. They still feel big and take some placing but the performance is instant and accessible.
To put the M6 into perspective, the cars come with a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 412kW/680Nm, propelling them from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds on to a top speed of 305km/h for a thirst of 9.5 litres/100km.
TheMdivision’s signature seven-speed double-clutch manumatic transmission, rearwheel drive with an active differential, giant brakes and driver-adjustable steering, transmission, engine and suspension settings are all part of the package.
Above a regular 6 Series, they get bigger wheels, more aggressive noses, rocketlauncher exhaust pipes andM tweaking of the seats and wheel and transmission controller.
The M6 twins should definitely be five-star NCAP machines, based on their airbags and safety acronyms— from the usual ABS and ESP to infinity— covering active and passive assistance for all the systems that can get you out of trouble.
The most obvious one is the traction control, as any car as powerful as these M-sters can be difficult to control if the road gets oily or you’re struck by a sudden downpour.
BMWAustralia knows the M6 has a limited appeal but about 30 cars will be delivered this year and more than 150 will find homes in 2013.
‘‘ Performance-wise, the car speaks for itself, both on paper and how it behaves,’’ says Piers Scott ofBMWAustralia.
‘‘ The cars we were competing with previously didn’t have the capability at both ends of the spectrum, either everyday or on a track. And I think the car compares very well on value. Saying that, this is a very emotive subject.’’
BMWsays rivals for the M6ers range from the Jaguar XK-R S to theAMGMercedes CLS coupe and SL roadster, and even the Maserati GranTurismo and Aston Martin Vantage V8.
‘‘ This new model could lure people from Aston Martin and Maserati. They are definitely customers we can talk to now with this model,’’ says Scott.