• M6 Gran Coupe set to debut
  • Sporty styling, turbo V8
  • Debuts in Detroit, on sale summer 2013

The high-performance BMW M6 Gran Coupe is coming. BMW recently showed photos of the new sport sedan, which is based on the new 6 Series Gran Coupe. Though BMW hasn't confirmed major details, the M6 Gran Coupe will debut early next year at the Detroit Auto Show.

The newly released photos don't show any major surprises. Most are exterior shots, and show subtle upgrades over the standard 6 Series Gran Coupe. Such changes include new 20-inch alloy wheels and a so-called kidney grille on the front fenders. The photos also show chrome door handles and a hood bulge. A more aggressive front bumper rounds out changes. Our experience with sporty BMW M models tells us the M6 Gran Coupe will also have a lower stance than the normal 6 Series and larger exhausts.

BMW didn't release any interior photos, but we expect the M6 Gran Coupe's cabin to roughly mirror the sporty 6 Series Gran Coupe's interior. That's because the 6 Series Gran Coupe already has a sporty new interior design, having debuted earlier this year. That said, the M6 Gran Coupe will likely add carbon fiber trim and several copies of BMW's M logo peppered throughout its interior--a common practice on BMW M cars.

Since we won't see the M6 Gran Coupe until Detroit, BMW is keeping details under wraps. But the car will likely share the M5's muscular powerplant, which is a 560-horsepower turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. That means purists will surely choose the M6 Gran Coupe over lesser 6 Series models, which offer 315 hp in 640i form and 445 horses in 650i guise. No word yet on transmission choices, though the M5 offers a 6-speed manual, while the standard 6 Series Gran Coupe only uses an 8-speed automatic.

BMW has also not revealed pricing. The standard 650i Gran Coupe starts around $87,000 with shipping, which is around $25,000 more than a 550i sedan. If the M6 Gran Coupe has the same margin over the 2013 M5, pricing could start as high as $115,000. The sedan's top rival, the sporty Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, starts around $97,000 with shipping.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe is pitched as a more stylish alternative to the standard 5 Series. It's also touted as a more practical version of the BMW 6 Series, which was redesigned last year. That model is available as a coupe or a soft-top cabriolet.

What it means to you: The BMW M6 Gran Coupe will offer M5 performance in a sleek wrapper.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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