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2017 BMW M6 Gran Coupe: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader June 2017

Think of the 2017 BMW M6 Gran Coupe as essentially a sleeker M5 (which, by the way, is unavailable for the 2017 model year). Under the skin, the outgoing M5 sedan and M6 Gran Coupe share practically everything, from platforms and suspensions to a fabulous turbocharged V8 that makes a mighty 560 horsepower.

It's just that the M6 Gran Coupe follows the current trend of the "4-door coupe." But because it's fashionable, don't assume this car is any less of an M than its speedy siblings. There's plenty of substance here.

The 2-door M6 coupe and convertible are reviewed separately.

What's New for 2017?

Apple CarPlay is now available. And a new M Driver's package raises the top speed from 156 to 190 mph while including a day's tuition in high-performance driving.

What We Like

Astounding acceleration; impressive handling; sumptuously snug interior; comprehensive technology features; optional manual transmission

What We Don't

Expensive, even for a high-performance luxury sedan; restricted occupant space

How Much?

$118,495

Fuel Economy

A twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine develops 552 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque, rising to 600 hp and 516 lb-ft with the optional Competition package.

The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual with paddle shifters (essentially an automatic transmission). In a nod to BMW's performance pedigree, a 6-speed manual transmission is also available at no extra cost. Power goes solely to the rear wheels.

Despite an automatic start/stop feature that helps save a little fuel, economy is not a strong suit. With the automatic transmission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 14 miles per gallon in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in combined driving. The manual transmission fares slightly better, with 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 BMW M6 Gran Coupe ($118,495) is a 4-door sedan that comes as a single model.

Standard features include 20-inch wheels, an electronically adjustable sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, drive mode selection, adaptive LED headlights, LED fog lights/taillights, adaptive cruise control, a carbon-fiber roof, keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, power-adjustable 16-way M-specific front sport seats with heating and memory settings, a power-adjustable steering column, self-dimming mirrors, quad-zone automatic climate control, parking sensors front and rear, rain-sensing wipers, carbon-fiber cabin trim, Bluetooth, an iDrive infotainment system with a 10.2-in widescreen display, a touchpad control knob, a rearview camera, navigation and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound system with iPod/USB connectivity, satellite radio and HD Radio.

Options-wise, the Competition package adds 48 hp, a lowered suspension with even sportier settings, recalibrated steering, stability control and differential settings, lighter-weight 20-in wheels and "black chrome" exhaust tips.

The Executive package brings a power rear sunshade with manual rear side sunshades, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, active ventilated front seats with real-time cornering support, and heated rear seats.

The new M Driver's package brings that higher top speed (190 mph) and a day's instruction at a BMW Performance Center.

Other options include carbon ceramic brakes, night vision with pedestrian detection, an Alcantara (fake suede) headliner, Apple CarPlay and a Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker audio system.

Trunk capacity is 16.2 cu ft., and the rear seats split and fold for some versatility.

Safety

The M6 Gran Coupe comes with driver-adjustable stability control, numerous electronic brake optimization features with automatic brake-disc drying, active front-seat head restraints, eight airbags (front, front-side, front-knee and full-length side-curtain) and the BMW Assist telematics system, which provides emergency assistance such as crash notification and roadside assistance.

An optional Driver Assistance Plus package includes blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, and a 360-degree camera system.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe body style has not been crash-tested in the United States.

Behind the Wheel

It's natural to compare the M6 Gran Coupe to the M5. As iconic as the latter is, the former excels in sheer driving pleasure, feeling sharper, more responsive and more athletic overall. Having what is basically the M6 coupe's interior is another positive; this car really does feel like a 2-door from behind the wheel.

Because of the car's dramatic profile, rear passenger space is more limited than in a conventional sedan size, but two average-size adults can fit in the back seats (not three, though).

And being endowed with more than 500 hp is always a good thing. Especially when it's so accessible and comes on with such fearsome intensity. This is one of the fastest, most capable cars in the world -- a seemingly invincible sedan that excels at practically everything. It even rides nicely with those adaptive dampers on the correct setting.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 S -- The twin-turbocharged V8 here is even more powerful, with 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

2017 Audi RS 7 -- With arguably the most striking looks of the bunch, the RS 7 also has all-wheel drive as standard and a beautifully refined twin-turbo V8. There's now a 605-hp Performance variant as well.

Used BMW M3 Sedan -- The previous-generation, V8-powered M3 sedan is an ideal 4-door performance car, obtainable for a fraction of the M6 Gran Coupe's new-car price.

Autotrader's Advice

The manual transmission is fine, but its limited appeal won't help with resale values. The current generation of 6 Series is being phased out, so this could be the time to play hardball with a BMW dealership.

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.
2017 BMW M6 Gran Coupe: New Car Review - Autotrader