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2017 BMW M6: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2017

Effortless. That's the 2017 BMW M6. It has more than enough power and surrounds its occupants with luxurious touches. While the company's M cars have always been aimed at enthusiasts, this one is more of a relaxed tourer than an ultra-responsive sports machine. That's partly by design, but also a result of the car's bulk.

This might lead people to question whether an M6 is a better buy than the non-M 650i. They both have a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, and only speed freaks would find the less-expensive 650i's acceleration inadequate. But one is not necessarily better than the other, just different. The M6's engine has been tuned to produce 552 horsepower, 115 hp more than the 650i. And the handling is a clear improvement in terms of outright capability. At this level, the talent is there in abundance, it's just a question of personal taste.

The M6 Gran Coupe is reviewed separately.

What's New for 2017?

Wi-Fi and wireless smartphone charging are now standard. The iDrive infotainment system has been updated to version 5.0. An M Driver's package is also new for 2017 and includes a raised top speed (190 mph instead of 156 mph), along with a day's tuition in performance driving.

What We Like

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

What We Don't

The 650i's acceleration is already incredible and costs less; feels big in tight corners; unaccommodating rear seats

How Much?

$114,695-$120,995

Fuel Economy

The rear-wheel-drive M6 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes 552 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 is a no-cost option for traditionalists.

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

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 BMW M6 comes as one well-equipped trim level in either coupe or soft-top convertible form.

The M6 coupe ($114,695) comes standard with a carbon-fiber roof, staggered-width 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps, LED fog lights/taillights, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive dampers with selectable 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, wireless smartphone charging, Wi-Fi, 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 ($120,995) 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 horsepower, 14 lb-ft more torque, lighter alloy wheels and sportier calibrations 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).

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

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.

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 four years of enhanced roadside assistance, stolen-vehicle recovery and more, is also standard. The Driver Assistance Plus package throws in blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-collision monitoring with automatic braking, a driver-drowsiness monitor, 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, although it isn't difficult to get in and out. 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 virtually 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 as versatile as a retractable hard top.

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 while 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 getting sideways with the precision of a custom-built drift car. The adjustable steering with three effort levels adds to the sense of control, yet hardcore BMW fans might find this system lacking in genuine feedback.

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

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo -- Sportier than the M6, but this current generation is the largest and most luxurious 911 that's ever been.

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- That a Corvette should even be in the running shows how good this current model is. There are no rear seats, but that's hardly a problem. In 650-hp Z06 form, it's an epic ride to remember.

Used Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG -- The fact that we're looking at a pre-owned model makes a new M6 seem more like a bargain. The SL 63 is the best of both worlds, though, with its retractable hard top. Only a 2-seater.

Autotrader's Advice

BMW is ceasing production of this generation of M6. There are no plans for a 2018 model. So this could be a chance to strike a deal.

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: New Car Review - Autotrader