For those who enjoy a comfortable grand touring car but demand the accelerative thrust of a high-speed bullet train, the 2017 BMW M6 might be right up your alley. Specifically, how does 560 horsepower and an even 500 pound-feet of torque sound? Pretty good, we imagine.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, we'd also like to remind you that the regular, non-M-badged BMW 650i makes a noteworthy 445 hp with a healthy 480 lb-ft of torque, and is good for a zero -to-60-mph sprint in 4.5 seconds. That's not bad for a car that would save you a considerable sum off of the M6's price. But perhaps you insist on driving the very best, and you know exactly how you'd make use of the M6's extra grunt. Or maybe you just want to up the bragging rights. In that case there's the M6's optional Competition package that brings the twin-turbo V8's output to 600 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Because, why not?
As a complement to the power gains, upgraded M-tuned active suspension, steering, brakes, and electronically controlled rear differential provide significant improvement to this large luxury coupe's handling abilities. All of this performance hardware is balanced by a comfortable cabin trimmed in top-shelf materials, like fine-grain leather and carbon-fiber trim. The M6 comes so well equipped, that there are few additional options to significantly widen the aforementioned price gap between it and the 650i.
If you're set on shopping in the M6 price range, there are a few other attractive options. The 2017 Porsche 911 receives a new turbocharged six-cylinder engine and is lighter and more sport focused, though its rear seats are even less accommodating than the BMW's. If you're someone who likes convertibles, the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG benefits from a retractable hardtop, offering cleaner looks and more security than the M6 convertible's cloth top. However, it isn't quite as sporty as the M6 at this level, and it's a big price jump to get that performance AMG model. Moving just slightly upstream, the Maserati GranTurismo is a delectably stylish offering from Italy, with useable rear seats and exotic road presence.
All told, the BMW M6 strikes a very nice balance in performance and grand touring comfort. In other words, it does it all.
Standard safety features for all 2017 BMW M6 models include antilock disc brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, a hill-hold feature, front-seat side airbags, active front-seat head restraints and a rearview camera. Convertibles receive added rollover protection.
Also standard are the BMW Assist emergency communications system (including automatic crash notification and on-demand roadside assistance) and BMW Remote Services (including stolen-vehicle recovery, remote door unlocking and an integrated smartphone app).
The Driver Assistance Plus package includes a suite of safety aids including lane departure warning, frontal collision warning/mitigation, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, as well as 360-degree camera system and current road speed limit info.
In Edmunds brake testing, an M6 convertible came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet on its summer tires. That's a strong showing in general, but unremarkable for this class of car.
trim levels & features
The 2017 BMW M6 is available in a single trim level as either a coupe or a convertible (the four-door M6 Gran Coupe is reviewed separately). Coupe models come with a carbon-fiber roof, while the convertible features a power-operated fabric top and a heated glass rear window that can be raised independently of the top to serve as a wind blocker.
Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, an M-specific front fascia and other sporty styling elements, adaptive suspension dampers, an active limited-slip differential, automatic adaptive LED headlights, LED foglights and taillights, heated power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, automatic soft-close doors, keyless entry and ignition, ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery (with sun-reflective surfaces for the convertible), 16-way power heated front seats (with four-way lumbar support, adjustable bolsters and memory functions), a power-adjustable steering wheel, a synthetic-suede headliner (coupe only), extended leather trim and carbon-fiber accents.
Electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, BMW's iDrive interface (with a 10.2-inch display), wireless charging (Qi standard), a Wi-Fi hotspot (3G), online services (including news and weather), smartphone-app integration, a rearview camera, voice controls, a navigation system and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with HD radio, satellite radio and enhanced USB/iPod integration with message dictation. Also included are driver-adjustable settings for the suspension, transmission, steering and engine.
The optional Executive package adds a heated steering wheel, ventilated fatigue-reducing "active" front seats, a color head-up display (also available separately), a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and (for the coupe only) a power rear sunshade. The Driver Assistance Plus package includes a lane departure warning system, frontal collision warning, a blind-spot monitor and a camera system with top-down and around-the-corner views.
Also optional is the Competition package that delivers 40 additional horses for the V8 engine; 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels; 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.
New for 2017 is the M Driver's package, which includes one full day of high-performance driver training at a BMW Performance Center and a higher top speed limit (190 mph for the M6). BMW will no longer offer the higher top speed limit as a standalone option.
Other standalone options include 20-inch wheels in silver or black, carbon-ceramic brakes, additional trim pieces in carbon fiber, a six-speed manual transmission, color head-up display and a night vision system with pedestrian detection.
Powering the rear-wheel-drive 2017 BMW M6 is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces an impressive 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Opting for the Competition package raises output to 600 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
BMW is one of the holdouts in the performance luxury segment that insists on offering a traditional six-speed manual gearbox, one with a third pedal for the clutch, as a no-cost option. However, if you want the Competition Package, you'll have to stick to the standard seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, which you'll shift using steering-wheel-mounted paddles rather than row a gearbox.
In Edmunds performance testing, a convertible M6 with the automated manual transmission sprinted to 60 mph in a mere 4.2 seconds. The coupe is roughly 250 pounds lighter, so expect it to be marginally quicker.
EPA fuel economy estimates for both the coupe and convertible stand at 16 mpg combined (14 mpg city/20 mpg highway) with the automatic and 17 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway) with the manual transmission.
The 2016 BMW M6 is a truly comfortable grand tourer that's a beast at full throttle. The zero -to-60-time only begins to tell the story, as it's affected by the limited traction of rear-wheel drive at launch. Once you're putting all the power to the pavement, this is one of the fastest non-exotic cars in the world, gathering speed with the effortless thrust of an executive jet accelerating down the runway. It's never frightening, though, thanks to a refined stability control system that modulates power delivery at the limit without shutting down all of the fun. Turning stability control off, though, allows a skilled driver to burn through tires about as quickly as they will fuel.
In true GT fashion, the M6 is also a joy to drive if you're taking a road trip or even running a weekend errand. The adjustable settings for the suspension, steering, transmission and throttle response, allow you to adapt the M6 to your every mood. Viewed in a vein of pure performance, the M6 sits on the hefty side of the scale, with challenging sight lines over its long, V8-housing nose. The M6 wouldn't be our first choice for canyon-carving, though it will hold its own.
As expected of BMW's top two-door model, the M6's cabin caters to the driver's every need. Door panels and dashboard alike are wrapped with high-quality materials, while the center stack curves toward the driver to create a more intimate feel. BMW's classic analog gauges are easy to read at a glance, and the new iDrive infotainment interface works well for controlling and adjusting all of the M6's systems, earning extra points for its beautiful widescreen display. However unlike the iDrive system in the latest 7 Series, there is no Gesture Control or touchscreen function.
The M6's 20-way adjustable front seats are exceptionally supportive, providing a perfectly snug fit for practically every body type. But the backseat, however, is just snug, period. So don't expect it to accommodate more than personal items or small children. To be fair, most cars of this type are similarly confining in back, or don't have seats at all. The trunk is a plus whether you choose the coupe or the convertible, measuring 13 cubic feet in the former and a useful 12.4 cubic feet in the latter (10.6 cubic feet with the top retracted).
The M6 convertible is also notable for its well-insulated top, which keeps wind noise largely at bay. With the top down, the separate glass rear window can be raised to serve as a wind blocker, facilitating civilized conversation and preserving hairdos to a degree.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.