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First Drive: 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe By Henny Hemmes

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2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe

Sophistication at speed

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

GARCHING, Germany. April 18, 2014. ‘Travel in style’ is a phrase that manufacturers of premium cars love to use for promoting their four door limos. Nowadays, such a model is not necessarily a large sedan, but it can easily be a four-door coupe, which seems to be the latest styling trend, initiated by the Mercedes-Benz CLS in 2004. It took BMW some time, but last year the Bavarian car manufacturer joined the Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera. With the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe the ‘gap’ was closed between the 5 Series Sedan and the 6 Series Coupe. And with the M6 Gran Coupe, BMW can match the AMG Mercedes and S- Audi variants.

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It was no surprise that the graceful 6 Gran Coupe was confiscated early after the development by the engineers of BMW M GmbH. And we all know that we can leave it up to them to come up with a truly fast car. This time, it even proves to be the most sophisticated M car in the history of the sporty BMW division! We could see that when the M6 Gran Coupe made its world debut at the Detroit auto show in January. The exterior shows characteristic M details, such as the aerodynamically shaped mirrors, twin exhaust tailpipes and the dark colored CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) roof that is styled for aerodynamic efficiency. The same CFRP material is used for the diffuser that optimizes airflow under the car. The gold colored calipers of the carbon ceramic brake system are clearly visible between the double spikes of the exclusive 20-inch M light-allow wheels.

Last Monday, it was time to drive the latest M car in Bavaria. Of course, we would have loved to take it to the race track, but hey, you cannot always expect the M GmbH to accommodate your need for the highest speed.

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So I tested the M6 CG as a stylish and sporty daily driver on the winding route that lead from one of BMW’s buildings close to Munich, to Schloss Hohenkammer: stylish but with all the power of the beautifully sounding V8 at hand.

It speaks for itself, that the M-team did incorporate a stretch of Autobahn in the route, where I was lucky not to hit heavy traffic and could push the throttle until I saw the needle of the odometer reach go to 300 km/h. That is the equivalent of 186 mph and nearly the top speed (189 mph) of this variant that was equipped with the optional M Driver’s Package. The standard M6 Gran Coupe is electronically limited at 250 km/h/155 mph.

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Stepping into the M6 GC’s beautifully and in M style executed cockpit is a joy in itself., as well as the smell of the leather that is used for seats and trim. Carbon fiber details provide the sporty touch and even the roof lining looks good: it is made of Alcantara.

BMW said earlier that the M6 Gran Coupe may be the ‘perfect combination’ of the M5 and M6. It is sitting on the 113 mm longer wheelbase of the M5 and uses the well-known V-8 engine: the 412 kW/560 hp strong 4.4-liter power plant with M TwinPower twin-turbo technology coupled to the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic, while the Active M Differential is there as well.

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The V-8’s maximum torque of 500 lb-ft is available from 1,500 rpm and all the way op to 5,750. And boy, you feel the M6 GC goes like a rocket. BMW claims an acceleration time from 0-62 of only 4.2 seconds and from 0-137 mph in only just over 8. seconds! Please forgive me that I did not check this in traffic, but be convinced of its passing power and enjoy the sound. Like many of the some 10 year old school boys that just had finished their lessons and swarmed out on the street. They stopped and pointed at the – at that time – slow driving silver coated car.

On the roads through the villages to the Schloss the M6 GC shows its qualities: sophisticated when driving slow, making you feel comfortable and at ease because it is not pushing you all the time and asking to step on the throttle. But above all fun to drive and ultimately exiting to drive fast, offering excellent handling and a safe feeling of being in control of the large four door coupe. I realized on time when waiting for a traffic light that I am at ease with the start-stop system, even on a fast car like this M6 Gran Coupe.

Time was too short for a full test, but take it from me that it is on par with the handling of the somewhat lighter M5. It feels planted on the pavement and braking is impressive.

That the BMW M6 Gran Coupe asks for more driving time is a given fact. If I will get it for free remains to be seen. If come up with the budget of $114,000 dollars, I could buy all the driving time I want. As from June.

2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe with M Driver’s Package
Body		two-door coupe
Engine: 	4.4-litre 8-cyl twin-turbo
Power:		560 hp @ 6,000-7,000 rpm
Torque:	502 lb-ft @1,500-5,750 rpm	
Transmission: 7-speed M Double Clutch with Drive logic
Weight:	4,134 lbs.
0-62 mph: 	4.2 seconds
Top speed: 	190 mph (155 mph standard model)
Fuel economy:	 23.8 mpg (Eu cycle)
CO2: 		232 g/km
Price:		$ 113,925 (including destination)

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M6 Pacecar

The M6 Gran Coupe made its first appearance on the asphalt of the race track in Quatar, where it acted as safety car for the first race of the 2013 Moto GP series. Several days before the event, BMW released its picture on Facebook to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the co-operation between BMW and MotoGP, in providing the safety cars for the each year’s series.