Until the next-generation 8 Series shows up -- which is supposed to happen in 2018 -- BMW's flagship coupe is the M6, the high-performance variant of the 6 Series range.
For 2018, the M6 returns unchanged in a trio of models that includes coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe body styles, the latter of which is actually a four-door, five-seat hatchback.
Performance-wise, the M6 is no wallflower. It kicks to the curb a six-cylinder engine used in entry-level 6 Series models (covered in a separate buyer's guide entry) in favour of a 4.4L turbo V8 cranked up to 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, which is fed to the back wheels through either a seven-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.
Notably, while the regular-grade 6 Series and competitors like the Mercedes-AMG E 63 and Audi's RS 7 plug AWD in as standard features, BMW has stuck with RWD here. That will almost certainly change in the next-generation car, which we expect will follow the lead of the recently introduced 2018 BMW M5, the first AWD car to wear that vaunted badge.
To us, the M6 Gran Coupe is the most compelling version of this car for its combination of supercar acceleration and handling in a practical package. There is, however, something to be said for lowering the roof on an M6 convertible to better hear the car's exhaust note, which has been criticized for being too restrained for such a performance-oriented car.
Standard features include adaptive HID headlights, electric parking brake, heated windshield washers, front and rear park assist, auto-dimming mirrors, power-adjustable steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, head-up display, radar cruise control and 20-inch wheels.
As is the German luxury car way, M6 options are myriad. You can swap out the standard silver wheels for light alloys in the same colour or black ones. There are also a half-dozen special paint colours that command $1,000 apiece, and there's a $25,500(!) ultimate package that adds a long list of niceties but nonetheless doesn't include the full Merino leather interior, which is an extra $3,900 on top of the ultimate package or $5,900 on its own.
If your main need is speed, go for the $8,500 competition package for its extra 40 hp (for 600 total) and the (also) $8,500 carbon ceramic brakes to help rein all those horses in.
M6 fuel consumption estimates are 16.2/10.9 L/100 km (city/highway) with the stickshift and 17.3/11.6 with the automatic.
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