A four door for Thor
V8 thunder of newest M car is too much for mere mortals
IF an M5 sedan is too mainstream, but four doors is a must for your driveway, then BMW’s flagship fits your bill.
The M6 Gran Coupe, is the svelte and muscular coupe with easy rear seat access. Anything around $300,000 that doesn’t have an ensuite and off-street parking is tough to juxtapose with ‘‘ value’’, but the exclusivity of just 20 cars of this ilk being on Australian roads could make it worth the $70,000 over an M5.
Twin-scroll turbos puffing away atop an already-potent V8 is a recipe for rapidity, even in a two-tonne Teuton. The engine has variable valve timing and lift control on both sides, as well as direct injection, to generate 412kW and 680Nm sent through the rear wheels.
New is the $12,000 Competition pack adding 11kW, competition wheels and a more aggressive suspension and power steering tune. The extra grunt takes the sprint to 100km/h down to 4.1 seconds.
The M version adds to the already imposing presence of the ‘‘ mainstream’’ car. The visible carbon-fibre roof, aluminium door and bonnet panels and plastic front guards help the centre of gravity and keep weight to some 1.9 tonnes.
The stance is low and muscular, with wider track, flared wheelarches and larger front air intakes, the brooding and imposing ‘‘ coupe’’ sits just 110mm off the tarmac on 20 inch wheels wrapped in liquorice instead of tyres. At 191cm I can sit behind my own driving position with only rear headroom being an issue, while cargo space is good with a splitfold rear seat function.
Sauntering out of the pit lane you feel the comfort of a big lazy V8 and being snug behind the wheel. The first thing you don’t get a sense of as you lap some bits of the Sepang track we’re on is the ride quality. For that we’ll have to wait for local roads, but the clever steering and suspension systems do great things for the Gran Coupe’s body control.
The front can come under pressure if you’re heavy on the brakes, and the rear can slip sideways under duress but the extra bit of wheelbase and the active rear differential makes it an easy catch with the hydraulic power steering.
Time on the skid-pan demonstrates the teamwork between the electronics and the rear diff, as well as the playful abilities and huge outputs that can be used.
It’s noM3 in the bends or in changing direction, but the torque of the twin-turbo engine makes the M3 feel slow.