2018 BMW M6 Overview
The BMW M6 is based on the elegant 6 Series Gran Coupe and convertible. It adds a high-powered engine and performance-oriented running gear but never forgets its grand-touring roots, whether making a red-carpet entrance or performing on the track. The 2018 model sees few changes aside from the discontinuation of the 2-door coupe body style.
One of the early vehicles of the BMW M Division, the M6 dates all the way back to 1983 when it was equipped with a modified version of the iconic M1’s inline 6-cylinder engine. Production ended in 1989, and we would not see another vehicle with the M6 badge until 2005. Now in its third generation, the M6 is left with just the Gran Coupe and convertible as BMW drops the coupe for 2018.
The M6 Gran Coupe, the most popular variant of the lineup, pairs the profile of a coupe with a 4-door layout for easier access to the rear seats. The convertible body style comes with a cloth top that’s less complex than the M4’s hardtop and gives the M6 a classic, grand-touring feel. The top opens in 19 seconds and closes in 24 seconds at speeds up to 25 mph. The convertible also has the unique ability to lower the heated rear window in addition to the side windows in what BMW has termed “California Mode,” which allows air to flow freely through the cabin even with the top up. Styling upgrades over the standard 6 Series include a more aggressive front splitter, a wider track, and massive 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in performance tires.
The M6 features a flowing cabin design, with soft-touch materials on the dash and center console, highlighted by a sweeping line to the right side of the console. Atop the center stack is the 10.2-inch high-resolution screen, which is home to the latest iteration of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system and is operated via a large dial in the center console. The top of the dial is touch-sensitive, allowing you to “draw” letters to enter an address or contact name, and controls the radio, phone, and navigation settings.
Standard equipment inside the M6 includes 20-way power front seats, leather upholstery, black carbon-fiber interior trim, a 16-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system, push-button start, a wireless charging pad, and Wi-Fi 3G hotspot capability. In terms of upgrades, you can opt for a higher-end 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound system, an M-specific head-up display, or a range of BMW Individual interior trims.
The M6 is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine good for 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission or an available 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which comes with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. To save fuel, the M6 features an auto stop-start function, and regenerative braking ensures that the constant engine restarting doesn’t drain the battery. Fuel-economy figures stand at 15 mpg city, 22 highway, and 17 combined.
Despite its curb weight of about 4,400 pounds, the M6 handles corners with ease thanks to a well-sorted chassis. It features M dynamic damper control, an M suspension system, and an active M differential, which can modulate wheel slip and power individual rear wheels when needed. The driver can further customize the driving experience with Sport, Sport+, and Comfort modes. BMW offers options like carbon ceramic disc brakes and an available Competition package, which adds 40 additional horsepower to the engine, a tighter steering ratio, and a racing-tuned suspension.
Standard safety features on the M6 include front- and side-impact airbags, active front head restraints, a reversing camera, and a LATCH child-seat anchoring system. You can add on available high-tech safety features like lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and an active driving assistant.
Base MSRP for the 2018 M6 is $119,800 for the Gran Coupe and $122,300 for the convertible. Whether you opt for the versatility of the Gran Coupe or the top-down excitement of the convertible, the M6 is sure to please even the most discerning of performance drivers.
From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.
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