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M6 Gran Coupe: The Perfect Compromise?

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On: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 4:32PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

M6 Gran Coupe: The Perfect Compromise?

If some is good, more must be better right? Well, maybe. It seems that at least in the minds of BMW execs, that theory has gotten some traction (pun intended). Understandably, BMW figures that if a potential buyer is going to drop a significant sum of cash on a luxury car, it should be exactly what they want. Enter the BMW M6 Gran Coupe -- a perfect halfway point for that indecisive speed freak that just can't decide between an M5 and an M6.    

The M6 Gran Coupe, the newest model to join BMW's M lineup, should quite literally have been badged the M5.5 or perhaps the M5 1/2. It stands to reason that a car that is almost exactly half of two cars should split the difference, at least in our minds. Need more evidence before you support our M5.5 nameplate? No problem. How about the fact that the Gran Coupe does look like an M6 from the rear, but looks suspiciously like an M5 sedan from a profile view, while the front clip could very easily be confused for either or the M5 or M6. Also, consider this: The M6 Gran Coupe sits perfectly on the wheelbase of none other than the M5.

The M6 GC also shares the M 5/6 drivetrain -- a very impressive 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces the exact same 560-horsepower/500 pound-feet of torque. Owners can have any transmission they want, so long as what they want is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. That's right – no manual transmission is scheduled to be offered, at least as of this writing. This marks one of the very few differences between the M6 GC and the M5, as the M5 can be had with a traditional stick-shift. The other big difference between the M5 and M6 GC is when actually seated in the car; the M6 Gran Coupe's actual coupe-ness can be felt. Inside the M6 and M6 GC, the car feels somewhat smaller around the driver and passenger than the more traditional (and roomier) M5 sedan. Aside from these two differences, the M cars are essentially the same bits and pieces -- a wider than stock from bumper, more cooling ducts to support the turbocharged motor, chrome quad-exhaust tips, a rear diffuser, and of course M-specific badging.

In terms of performance, the M6 GC falls right in line with the M twins. BMW claims 0-60 mph takes 4.1 seconds which matches the standard M6 and outguns the lighter M5 by a couple tenths of a second. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, but opting for the M Driver's package can raise the top end by another 35 mph.

There is one other main difference between the M6 GC -- its price tag. It seems that the cost of having exactly the car you want will run a premium of about 20 grand over the M5's 90k price tag. Is it worth it? Apparently BMW thinks so. But do they really think the world needs an M5.5 ... err, M6 Gran Coupe, or are they just afraid they are going to lose business to cars like the Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG or Porsche Panamera? Only time and a few wealthy and indecisive car buyers will tell for sure. But now that we have had time to mull it over, when it comes to 560 horsepower production cars, we agree that more is definitely better -- even if the name is wrong.

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