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2016 BMW M6: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2016

The 2016 BMW M6 is not a high-strung performance car with hair-trigger reflexes. This is more of a relaxed tourer that just happens to have a wonderfully powerful engine. Its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 has been tuned to produce 560 horsepower, which is 115 hp more than the similar engine in the 650i, and only speed freaks would find the much less-expensive 650i's acceleration to be inadequate.

However, that's not really a problem because BMW's M line has always been aimed at enthusiasts. Without a doubt, this audience will enjoy the amazing acceleration. The handling is also a clear improvement over that of the 650i, but the car's inherent bulk still makes the M6 less of a sports machine than the Porsche 911 or even BMW's own M4. However, it's hard to argue against a luxury performance car with 560 hp.

What's New for 2016?

Adaptive LED headlights are now standard, and there are some minor styling tweaks, along with a light reshuffling of some options. The Competition package also now brings more power. It adds 48 hp over last year's 15.

What We Like

Incredible acceleration; capable handling; top-notch interior; plenty of technology

What We Don't

Less-expensive 650 model already had incredible acceleration; feels big in tight corners; unaccommodating rear seats

How Much?

$114,395-$120,695

Fuel Economy

The rear-wheel-drive M6 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque in its regular form. A 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is standard, although a 6-speed conventional manual transmission is a no-cost option for traditionalists.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the M6 with the automated manual returns 14 miles per gallon in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg combined, regardless of body style. The stick shift yields a slightly better 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 BMW M6 comes as one well-equipped trim level in either coupe or soft-top convertible form.

The M6 Coupe ($114,395) comes standard with a carbon-fiber roof, staggered-width 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps, LED fog lights and taillights, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive dampers with driving modes, keyless entry/ignition, 16-way multicontour heated sport seats with memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power adjustable steering wheel, soft-close doors, front and rear parking sensors, iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity, BMW Apps smartphone integration, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and the iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in widescreen display, digital music storage, navigation and a rearview camera.

The M6 Convertible ($120,695) is similarly equipped but has a powered soft-top with a heated glass rear window that can be raised and lowered independently.

The Competition package adds a sport exhaust with black chrome tailpipes, 48 extra hp, lighter alloy wheels, and a sportier tune to the suspension, steering tuning, stability control system and rear limited-slip differential.

The Executive package brings ventilated active front seats with massage functions, a heated steering wheel, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and a head-up display. The coupe version also includes a powered sunshade.

The Driver Assistance Plus package has advanced safety features (see the Safety section below).

Individual options include 20-in wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, a Bang & Olufsen audio system and a night-vision system with pedestrian detection.

The coupe has 13 cu ft. of trunk space, while the convertible manages a respectable 10.6 cu ft. with the top down.

For 2016, there's also a limited-run M6 Coupe Competition Edition. Only 100 units are allotted to the United States. It starts at $165,895, has 608 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, achieves 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined and comes with a lot of standard equipment.

Safety

The M6 comes with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active front head restraints and four airbags (front and front-side). The convertible version has extra protection in the event of a rollover.

BMW Assist, which includes 4 years of enhanced roadside assistance, stolen vehicle recovery and more, is also standard. The Driver Assistance Plus package throws in a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning, forward-collision monitoring with automatic braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, speed limit information and side- and top-view cameras.

Behind the Wheel

While the M6 borrows heavily from the previous-generation 7 Series executive sedan under the skin, its cabin is intimate and sporty. The seats are mounted low, but it isn't difficult to get in and out of. The multicontour front seats are outstanding, with robust lateral and lumbar support complemented by adjustable thigh support and seemingly infinite tilt and recline options. Interior materials are top-quality, and the rakish dashboard is defined by a bold character line that swoops from the passenger door all the way down to the driver's seat.

Sadly, the back seat is useless except as a parcel shelf, which is surprising in such a large car. Folks in front can slide their seats forward to accommodate rear passengers, but even then rear headroom will be limited unless you're in the convertible with the top down. Speaking of which, the vinyl roof operates rapidly and with minimal fuss, but it's naturally not as secure or versatile as a retractable hardtop.

At full throttle, the M6 is incredibly fast, and its modified V8 has a more authoritative bark than the nearly silent V8 in the 650i. Low-end and midrange torque is fierce, although the turbocharged engine loses a bit of energy near redline. While it's great that BMW offers a manual transmission, the automated manual seems better suited to this car (except for its inferior fuel economy), ripping off rev-matched downshifts with the best of them but remaining civilized in normal operation.

In corners, cars of this size simply shouldn't be able to do what the M6 does, remaining remarkably free of body roll or going sideways with the precision of a custom-built drift car. The adjustable steering, which has three effort levels, adds to the sense of control, yet major BMW fans might find this system lacking in genuine feedback.

This car can handle practically everything thrown at it, especially if the optional carbon-ceramic brakes are specified. For cruising, the adjustable dampers and fundamentally supple suspension provide a luxury-grade ride.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo -- This current generation is sportier than the M6, but it's also the largest and most luxurious 911 that's ever existed.

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- The fact that a Corvette even made this list shows how good the current model is. There are no rear seats, but that's hardly a problem. In 650-hp Z06 form, this model provides an epic ride to remember.

Used Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 -- The fact that we're looking at a pre-owned model makes a new M6 seem more like a bargain. The SL63 offers the best of both worlds with its retractable hardtop. Again, it only has room for two passengers.

Autotrader's Advice

As long as the funds are there, no one is going to dissuade you from buying an M6. However, you should take it on a thorough test drive to see if it really works for you.

Find a BMW M6 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 BMW M6: New Car Review - Autotrader