The 2018 BMW M6 is the ultimate-performance coupe from BMW, except there's no actual 2-door in the lineup anymore. Instead, there's an excellent convertible, or the 4-door "Gran Coupe" sedan. While we'll miss the availability of a true 2-door, both the convertible and Gran Coupe sedan offer the kind of power and personality buyers demand from the M6.
You'll Like The 2018 BMW M6 If...
The BMW M6 skews heavily toward the performance side of the luxury-performance spectrum; double for the Competition Package. Although it's older than most of its competitors, the M6 still holds its own, with timeless style and powerful performance.
You May Not Like The 2018 BMW M6 If...
While the BMW M6 models are impressive, you could make an argument that much of what they offer is available elsewhere. For example, the BMW M4 is an actual coupe and costs considerably less. Also factor in that the BMW 6 Series is also older than many of its competitors.
Like the rest of the BMW 6 Series lineup (reviewed separately), the actual M6 coupe is dropped from the M6 family. Aside from that, changes are minor and include a new Parking Assistance Package that includes side- and around-view, and a reconfigured Driving Assistance Package that includes blind-spot detection and more.
Like the rest of the 6 Series lineup, the 2018 BMW M6 features a beautifully styled and functionally elegant interior. Premium materials are everywhere, with special touches for the M6, such as M badges and special seats. The steering wheel controls include an "M" button, which allows the driver to store preset performance settings. While the Gran Coupe is technically a sedan, don't expect 7 Series levels of room back there, although it is notably better than the convertible. Trunk space in the Gran Coupe is quite good, and even the Convertible offers good space thanks to its somewhat old-school soft-top mechanism.
The M6 is visually distinguished from its non-M brothers by unique grille inserts, a more aggressive and lower bumper treatment in front and rear, and of course M6 badges on the nose, fender vents and tail. But it's a subtle difference, playing off the already powerful and sexy styling of the 6 Series itself. The Gran Coupe does a respectable job of imitating a 2-door thanks to its low-slung roof and wide stance (just ignore the door handles), and the convertible sports a soft-top instead of the more fashionable hardtop found on other cars.
While it's not like the standard 6 Series is a slouch, the 2018 BMW M6 Convertible and M6 Gran Coupe up the performance ante considerably. Neither is what we'd call a hard-core sports car; instead, they simply take the grand touring mission of the standard 6 Series cars and turn it up to 11, or maybe even 12. The power from the twin-turbo V8 feels endless, especially in Competition Package models, and the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission shifts with a smooth urgency regardless of what mode you're in. Combine it with the sharp steering and stiff suspension, and the Convertible and Gran Coupe both exceed expectations, which is saying a lot considering the expectations that come with the M-labeled cars. Yet for all the sport, both are equally good at comfortable cruising. Slip the Driving Dynamic Control into a more comfortable mode, and the M6 reverts to its luxurious 6 Series roots.
The 2018 BMW M6 Gran Coupe starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $120,000, including the $995 destination charge. If you want the M6 convertible, you'll be spending about $122,300. That's all before options of course, and when you start checking boxes you start adding money, with a fully loaded M6 Convertible getting comfortably into $130,000 territory. That's not cheap by any definition, but it is in line with competitors like the Mercedes-AMG CLS63 and Audi RS7 for the Gran Coupe, while undercutting the Porsche Panamera Turbo. If you're looking at the M6 Convertible, note that it's about the same price as a Porsche Carrera S Convertible, at least to start. Before buying, do yourself a favor and check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid. Long-term resale value should be pretty solid.
It should be no surprise that many of the optional features on the 6 Series are standard on the M6. That includes 20-way-power M front seats with 4-way lumbar support and an articulated upper backrest, covered in Merino leather. The 16-speaker harman/kardon audio system is also standard, as are a rearview camera and dynamic cruise control. There are also 4-zone automatic climate control, iDrive infotainment on a 10.2-inch screen, navigation, and Bluetooth and USB inputs for your phone. Safety systems include BMW's Active Protection System, which detects an imminent accident and prepares by pretensioning seatbelts, closing windows and activating post-crash braking.
Besides the Competition Package -- which adds power and performance -- there's a new Driving Assistance Package that adds blind-spot detection, a head-up display and speed-limit information, it also includes BMW's Active Driving Assistant, which bundles lane-departure warning, front-collision warning, city collision mitigation and pedestrian protection, expanding the safety envelope through cameras. An Executive Package for the Gran Coupe adds heated rear seats, power sunshades in the rear and a heated steering wheel. A parking-assistance package adds an around-view camera to assist in parallel parking.
Somewhere in BMW, someone drove the M6 and thought, "Y'know, it could use a little more juice." So BMW dialed up the wick to 600 horsepower, making this the most powerful M6 ever.
BANG & OLUFSEN AUDIO SYSTEM
When you're not reveling in the sonorous V8 engine, the 1,200-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system inside the BMW M6 is nothing short of amazing. With sound flowing through 16 individually amplified speakers, you’ll hear every note with eardrum-piercing clarity.
Under the Hood
Surprise, manual-transmission lovers! The 2018 BMW M6 Convertible and Gran Coupe are both available with a 6-speed manual, as long as you don't spring for the Competition Package. Otherwise you get the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Either transmission gets connected to a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine putting out 552 horsepower or, in the Competition Package, an even 600 horsepower. The M6 is rear-wheel drive only, and it should be no surprise that it demands premium fuel. While we wouldn't call the M6 a fuel-sipper, it does at least offer a stop/start system that cuts the engine at idle to save fuel.
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (M6)
552 horsepower @ 6,000-7,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (manual), 14/20 mpg (automatic)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
600 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg
The 2018 BMW M6 loses the coupe model this year, leaving the 4-door Gran Coupe and Convertible as the lone 6 Series models under the M umbrella; the all-new 6 Series Gran Turismo doesn't qualify. The M on the trunk means a twin-turbocharged V8 under the hood of the Gran Coupe or Convertible M6, putting out either 552 horsepower in the regular M6 or 600 horsepower in the Competition Package models; yes, there's a more M6-er version of the M6. We're sentimental to the loss of the classic coupe, but the Gran Coupe and Convertible are both excellent options for those considering grand touring sedans like the Mercedes-AMG CLS63 or Audi RS7, or convertibles like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Convertible or Porsche 911 Cabriolet.