The BMW M6 Cabriolet: A Not So Grand Grand-Tourer

Recently, I had the chance to drive a BMW M6 Cabriolet. Let’s run some numbers first. It’s got a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 producing 567 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. It sends all that to the rear two wheels. If somehow you can keep traction, 0-60 is achievable in 3.7 seconds. It weighs a massive 4,515 pounds. For comparison the new BMW M5, a full size sedan, weighs 4,345 pounds. And this is reflected in the driving experience. But what you see first is the outside of this car.

The exterior of the BMW M6 is an acquired taste. Personally, I am not a fan of the way it looks. I think the taillights are too big, I think it’s not muscular enough and adding an M styled front bumper and some more exhaust tips doesn’t differentiate it much. The convertible more or less looks like a boat to me. It doesn’t seem proportionate to me. It doesn’t have the same presence on the road as say, an S63 Cabriolet. Sure, it’s still a nice long German car, but I just don’t view it on the same level as its competitors. 

The interior on the other hand, is a different story. This is where all the M bits and pieces are shoved in your face. There is carbon fiber on the door panels, the dashboard, the steering wheel, the shift lever, and the center console. Everywhere you look, there is carbon fiber. You also get ambient lighting on this generation of M6. As you watch the ambient lighting gleam against the carbon fiber, you can adjust the seat bolsters, which are by far my favorite features of this car. You can adjust them to make it feel like a bucket seat in the canyons and grip your sides, or you can adjust them to be wide and relaxed on long drives to work. I feel like this feature is essential for every grand tourer released in the market. The interior has my favorite feature and my worst feature. The rear seats are absolutely horrendous. I’m 5’9” myself and I could not fit in the back. There was ZERO leg room. We were in a drive-thru and I got out of the car to walk alongside it because of how uncomfortable the rear seats were. For being such a GRAND tourer, you can only tour with one passenger. That defeats the whole purpose of the touring part of a grand tourer. Now the extra, unusable rear seats have added weight and ruined the driving experience, which brings me to my next point. 

Just because you add a ton of power to a heavy car doesn’t mean it drives well. You can especially feel the weight of this massive boat in the corners. I had to wrestle the beast through every single turn because tires wouldn’t grip all of the weight shifting. The only way I can describe the driving experience is that this car “lollied about” and the extremely long gear ratios didn’t help with acceleration. They waste almost all the potential provided by the 502 lb/ft of torque produced by the engine. First gear takes you up to 40 miles an hour, and second takes you up to 70 miles an hour. The worst part is,this M car has 2 overdrive gears, for the purpose of fuel economy of course. If I’m buying an M car, I could care less about fuel economy. When did the M division become a bunch of tree huggers?

I would not buy this car. I would not tell you to buy this car. I would rather drive an X6M. The interior was executed very well, alongside the wonderful adjustable seat bolsters that are extremely useful in every aspect of your driving experience. However, the 4,515 pounds looming under your foot ruins everything. The useless rear seats, the insanely long gear ratios and TWO overdrives just ruin the car. Why in the world would you want TWO overdrives? One overdrive is enough. What’s the point of having double? If anything, just elongate the first overdrive. This was supposed to be BMW’s crown and jewel of the lineup at the time, but it ended up being more disappointing than the loss of that glorious V10.

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