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2016 BMW M6 Overview
Consider the 2016 BMW M6 a special model line within a special series of BMW cars. The 6 Series is a coupe body style slotted between the 5 Series sedan and the larger 7 Series. The 6 Series appears much lower, longer, and wider when seen in person than the 5 or 7 Series, and the coupe body is much more beautiful. The M6 version of the 6 Series is the performance line of the 6 Series, already no slouch.
The present generation of the M6 was introduced as a 2013 model. For 2016, it will receive its mid-cycle styling refresh. BMW has told us the new version will feature some slight changes to the front end. Included will be newly standard LED headlamps and foglamps. The air intake under the bumper will be revised to have a larger single opening. The grills that were called “kidney shaped” for many years continue to change shape away from that of the human organ.
There are three body styles for the 2016 BMW M6. First is the standard coupe body with two doors and a hard B-pillar (the upright support just behind the driver's and front passenger's shoulder). Second is a soft-top convertible. Third is the Gran Coupe. This is a coupe with 4 doors, which makes no sense to anyone, but the car looks great, so why not? The M6 Gran Coupe looks worlds different from the 5 Series and 7 Series sedans, and a lot like the coupe, so the name and designation are not as crazy as they might sound at first. Still, a “coupe” has 2 doors. Not 4.
The interior of the 2016 BMW M6 is in many ways custom. BMW calls it a “step up,” and the place from which it stepped is pretty darned good to start. However, the leather dash, hand-built seats, and Alcantara (artificial suede microfiber) headliner distinguish the M6 cars as special, even in the prestigious 6 Series.
The steering wheel of the M6 has some interesting controls. The three damper settings—Comfort, Sport, and Sport+—are called up by a toggle wheel on the left rim of the wheel. Above and below are two buttons that can be programmed for the driver’s two favorite settings. This is similar in a way to Ferrari's system. The idea is that a driver can view a segment of road ahead that is particularly curvy and inviting or broken up by frost heaves and manually switch the suspension settings instantly to take that section in the manner of his or her choosing.
All three 2016 BMW M6 body styles use the same drivetrain. The engine is a 4.4-liter V8 with TwinPower turbocharging. BMW mounts the exhaust manifolds inside the top of the engine between the two banks of cylinders. The result is a shorter distance for the exhaust gas to get to the turbochargers. BMW also arranges the ordering sequence of the V8 so the pressure pulses of the exhaust gas are constant, thus delivering a more constant flow to the turbo, which then produces more consistent pressure to the intake. The turbocharging is not just a twin-scroll turbo, or a pair of turbos, but a pair of twin-scroll turbos. The benefit of this is that turbo-lag, the slight delay in power delivery between when power is requested and when the turbos spool up and start to work, is minimized or eliminated entirely.
The engine produces a whopping 560 hp. Just as impressive, its 502 lb-ft of torque comes at just 1,500 RPM, basically idle. This kind of power in a coupe was very rare until the GM, Ford, and Dodge SRT boys upped the arms race a few years back. Still, it does not make the power any less amazing.
The 2016 BMW M6 can come with a manual 6-speed transmission. This again is very unusual these days in any coupe. The optional automatic is a dual-clutch 7-speed with manual mode via the wheel-mounted paddle shifters. BMW offers the M6 only in rear-wheel drive, and we say “Bravo!” Proper performance vehicles and grand touring cars leave the steering to the front wheels and power delivery to the rears. BMW should be applauded for not tacking heavy and unnecessary all-wheel-drive gear to a car meant to be a sporting GT.
All the 2016 M6 cars have six digits in their price tag. The base M6 Coupe will start at about $116K. It's interesting to note that is about the cost of a 2 Series more than the price of a regular 6 Series car ($76K). The M6 Gran Coupe will start around $120K, and the convertible will start near $124K. It would be safe to assume a fully loaded M6 of your choice might add $10K or more to that starting point.
Concerning safety, IIHS has not tested the M6, but it did test the similar BMW 5 Series in 2015. That vehicle scored Marginal on the small frontal overlap test and Good on all the rest. The M6 can be equipped with superior forward-collision prevention. The unfortunate score on that one crash test bumps the car out of contention for Top Safety Pick status.
BMW says the 2016 M6 line will go on sale in Q2 of 2015.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. In the early 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric race car from scratch. In addition to his work at CarGurus, John covers automotive news at Torque News and GM-trucks.com and is a contributor to CarTalk and BestRide. Aside from all things automotive, John loves fishing and hockey, preferably in the company of his two boys.
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