Full 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe is an all-new four-door performance sedan.
The 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe combines key aspects of BMW's greatest cars in one alluring package. This all-new performance sedan shares its spectacular powertrain with the M5, yet it boasts the swoopy, "four-door coupe" body of the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Its richly appointed, high-tech interior rivals the accommodations in the luxurious 7 Series. If you're looking for the very best of what BMW has to offer in performance, style and outright luxury, the M6 Gran Coupe should be right up your alley, as long as you're prepared for its over-the-top asking price.
Like BMW's other Gran Coupe models, the 2014 M6 Gran Coupe is essentially a low-roofed version of the M5. It's powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 560 horsepower (or 575 with the Competition package), and whether you choose the standard seven-speed automated manual transmission or the available six-speed manual transmission, the M6 is one of the quickest four-doors in existence. Better yet, it feels so quick that even a run to the supermarket for milk becomes a memorable occasion. Depending on how you've adjusted the M6 Gran Coupe's myriad settings, the exhaust note can be either thundering or subdued, while the ride ranges from soft enough for a daily commute to downright firm for max-attack driving on your favorite back roads.
In addition to its massive power and state-of-the-art automanual transmission, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe features numerous other Motorsport division upgrades. Compared to the standard Gran Coupe, it has a retuned suspension with a lower ride height, a rear limited-slip differential to help get the power to the ground, enlarged brakes with your choice of standard steel or optional carbon-ceramic discs, and an intensified interior treatment with standard sport seats and extra helpings of leather and simulated suede. On the outside, you'll notice the M car's more aggressive front fascia with its integrated carbon-fiber splitter, along with a prominent roof panel made of the same exotic material.
Whether all of these additions are enough to justify the 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe's considerable price tag is largely a matter of your personal taste and budget. Sedans such as the Audi RS 7, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, and Porsche Panamera are all viable alternatives, as is BMW's own more practical M5. Every one of these cars is fast and luxurious, of course, but if you're drawn to the M6 Gran Coupe's style and character, rest assured that it's a fine choice for an elite sport sedan.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe is offered in a single, well-equipped trim level that includes 20-inch wheels; adaptive suspension dampers; a rear limited-slip differential; adaptive bi-xenon headlights; front and rear parking sensors; automatic soft-close doors; and heated, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors. It is visually distinguishable from other 6 Series Gran Coupes with its aero-contoured carbon-fiber roof, unique front grille and air intakes, M-specific side vents and revised rear bumper with diffuser elements.
Inside, you can look forward to standard four-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, aggressively bolstered 16-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar support), front-seat heating memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, carbon-fiber interior trim, interior ambient lighting and split-folding rear seats. Electronic features include adaptive cruise control; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; BMW's iDrive interface with a 10.2-inch display and smartphone app integration; a rearview camera; a navigation system; and a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration. The M6 Gran Coupe also comes with a 10-year subscription to BMW's telematics services and a three-year subscription to the company's concierge services.
Heading up the options list is the Competition package, which provides a freer-breathing exhaust system that yields 15 additional horsepower; revised tuning for the suspension, steering and rear differential; retuned stability control (that provides a higher threshold for intervention in the M Dynamic mode); and a black chrome finish for the tailpipes. An optional Executive package includes full LED headlights with automatic high beams; a heated steering wheel; a 3-D, full-color head-up display; power rear sunshade; manual rear side window shades; ventilated and massaging front seats; and heated rear seats. The Driver Assistance package features a lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring, rear/top-view cameras, speed-limit information and a forward collision warning and mitigation system with pedestrian detection.
Stand-alone options include an alternative 20-inch wheel design, high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes, a premium 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, a night-vision system with pedestrian detection, and various choices for extended leather and wood trim in the cabin. The only significant item missing from the options list is a sunroof, which is not compatible with the M6's carbon-fiber roof.
Powertrains and Performance
The heart of the 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that produces an astounding 560 hp (575 hp with the Competition package) and 502 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automated manual transmission with shift paddles comes standard, though a six-speed conventional manual transmission is a no-cost option aimed at sport-sedan purists. All M6 Gran Coupes feature an automatic stop-start system that shuts down the engine when you're stopped to conserve fuel; fortunately, you can turn it off if you don't like it.
BMW says the M6 Gran Coupe will sprint to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with the seven-speed automanual and in 4.3 seconds with the six-speed manual. The EPA rates seven-speed M6 Gran Coupes at 14 mpg in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg combined. Surprisingly, the conventional six-speed manual returns better mileage. with a 15/22/17 EPA rating.
The 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe comes standard with antilock disc brakes, as well as traction and stability control, cornering brake control, brake fade compensation, automatic brake drying and hill launch assist. It also comes with front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, knee airbags, side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, parking sensors, a rearview camera and a 10-year subscription to the BMW Assist emergency telematics.
Optional safety items include carbon-ceramic brakes (an upgrade over the standard steel brakes), an upgraded camera system (with a top view) and a night-vision system that helps you spot pedestrians. The Driver Assistance package bundles common safety aids such as blind-spot monitoring, a lane-departure warning system and a forward collision-warning/mitigation system with pedestrian detection.
Interior Design and Special Features
The intimate cabin is decidedly driver-focused and trimmed in an abundance of leather and other high-end materials, including plentiful carbon-fiber accents. The distinctive headliner treatment pairs Alcantara simulated suede with leather in a design that follows the contours of the carbon-fiber roof.
BMW's iDrive controller and a 10.2-inch screen together handle entertainment, climate, navigation and phone functions, as well as various vehicle settings. There's a lot of functionality here, and although we advise you to take some time to study the various features before you hit the road, iDrive is one of the best electronics interfaces out there. Graphics are excellent, processing times are quick, and once you're acclimated you'll find that the organization of the menus is pretty logical.
Front seat occupants will be quite happy in the supportive sport seats, which offer ample adjustability and, with the Executive package, the possibility of a massage. Rear passengers fare better than they would in the two-door M6 coupe, though there's still not as much space as they'd have in a conventional sport sedan like the M5. And with the Gran Coupe's low roof line and extended center console, the center seating position is barely usable.
Trunk capacity isn't exceptional with just 12 cubic feet, but thanks to standard split-folding rear seats, there's a fair amount of utility when you need it.
With 560 hp, the 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe is undeniably quick, and the twin-turbocharged V8 has buckets of power all over the rev range, with very little of the lag associated with turbo engines. The upshot is that no matter which gear you have the transmission in, this car feels fast, and a dramatic exhaust note heightens the experience. At the same time, it's all very refined, and when you're just cruising the highway, the engine is so quiet that you'll scarcely be aware of its prodigious power.
Most M6 Gran Coupe buyers will be perfectly happy with the seven-speed automated manual transmission, which shifts almost as smoothly as a regular automatic in its comfort-oriented setting, yet still responds very quickly in its sportier modes or when you summon a manual shift via the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The conventional six-speed manual provides the do-it-yourself experience that hard-core car enthusiasts crave, but as manuals go, it's only moderately satisfying to shift.
Thanks to its various engine, transmission, suspension and steering settings, the 2014 M6 Gran Coupe is surprisingly versatile. It's very well mannered in its most relaxed settings, yet capable of tearing up a back road (or even a racetrack) with mind-bending speed in its sharpest settings. However, this is a large, heavy car, so narrow mountain roads are not the best place to enjoy it. Stick to the open highway and you won't be disappointed.