2012 BMW M6 Coupe review

* Hot BMW 6 Series Coupe driven * 552bhp and 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds * On sale July, priced from 93,795...

27 June 2012
2012 BMW M6 Coupe review

The BMW M6 is an outlandish 6 Series model that's designed to compete with the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage S and upcoming hot versions of the new Porsche 911.

What's the 2012 BMW M6 Coupe like to drive?
It uses the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 as the M5 supersaloon, so there's 552bhp and 501lb ft of torque thats available from just 1500rpm.

You also get the M5's M-DCT twin-clutch gearbox, which can be programmed to suit different tastes through the car's M Sport menu, along with the suspension settings and steering and throttle responses; there are almost 500 combinations.

The M6 is a pretty trick machine, then, and from an outright performance perspective theres little to match it.

Floor the throttle and it'll storm from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds. What's more, the exhaust note gets increasingly fruity once you break 4000rpm, and the engine keeps building revs rapidly until it hits the 7000rpm limiter. Top speed is limited to 155mph.

The 2012 BMW M6 will compete with the likes of Aston Martins V8 Vantage S and hot versions of the Porsche 911

If you leave the gearbox in one of its softest modes it delivers smooth shifts that are ideally suited to town driving. Alternatively, put it in the most ferocious setting and changes come hard and fast, accompanied by a decided kick through the rear axle.

For a car that weighs the best part of two tonnes the M6 is extremely nimble. This is all the more impressive when you consider that it does without the hydraulic anti-roll bars that are used to such great effect in lesser 6 Series models.

Instead of those, the M6 gets stiffened front suspension struts that are fixed to the body via a heavy-duty cross-brace.

There's also a bespoke limited-slip differential and a rear sub frame thats bolted directly to the body, race car-style, while the standard car's electro-mechanical steering rack has been ditched in favour of hydraulic steering that provides superior feedback.

Despite being the best part of two tonnes, the 2012 BMW M6 is extremely nimble

Just as significantly, the M6 is fitted with sticky, premium rubber in place of the stiff-walled run-flat tyres that are responsible for ruining the ride quality of so many BMWs.

Handling is impressively grippy, although the steering is unnecessarily heavy in its sportiest setting and the limited suspension travel means you still feel a few jolts over poor road surfaces.

Overall, though, the M6 is an excellent blend of ferociously quick performance car and refined grand tourer.

The 2012 BMW M6 will blast from 0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds

What's the 2012 BMW M6 like inside?
Open the drivers door, pop your head beneath the bespoke composite roof, and you'll see a leather-clad interior punctuated by carbonfibre trim. It features electrically adjustable sports seats, M Sport detailing and one of the most elegant sports steering wheels currently in production.

Further highlights include BMWs intuitive iDrive control system, a seven-inch colour screen and a horseshoe arrangement of buttons that lets you switch between the various gearshift, suspension and steering-weight settings. Alternatively, you can just punch one of the two M buttons located on the steering wheel, which give instant access to your pre-programmed comfort and performance preferences.

Just bear in mind that this is a driver-focused car; the rear seats are a pain to get into and out of and rear space is pretty limited.

The cabin is a place of opulence and comfort

Should I buy one?
At the thick end of 100k, the M6 Coupe is one mightily expensive BMW. For this sort of money you can have more exotic and prestigious offerings such as the Aston Martin Vantage.

Still, if you place driving dynamics and performance ahead of beauty and image, the M6 is well worth considering.

Read our BMW 6 Series Coupe review >>

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Pete Tullin