Blending a tasteful yet aggressive design with extraordinary performance, the M6 is a sexy beast indeed. Power comes from a 560-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 mated to a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual. Offered as a coupe or convertible, one might not expect such brutish power in what is a comfortable and cosseting car, but that’s exactly why we like it. Despite being more agile than the 6-series, the steering and the brakes lack the feedback needed to make the M6 a proper sports car.
The BMW M6 is a paradoxical car. Its name harks back to an epic road-burning coupe, one with a race-derived inline-six engine, but in its current form it is a gigantic and heavy luxury machine that just happens to be fast. In both coupe and convertible forms, the M6 weighs in at around two tons, heft that’s overcome using a 560-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. Against this discussion of mass, let us introduce the 2015 M6—it’s still big and porky, but it receives a light freshening this year, just as its four-door Gran Coupe and pedestrian two-door 6-series siblings do.
Actually, light doesn’t even begin to describe the changes BMW has made to the M6 for 2015. The company changed almost nothing about the car’s design. While the regular 6-series receives new, lower front air intakes that are painfully reminiscent of Mercedes-AMG, the M6 keeps its previous “jetfighter” look intact, complete with an appropriately jet-styled central front air intake and its host of subtle aerodynamic elements.
Only the headlights are changed, having switched to standard full-LED illumination and seeing the turn-signal elements moved from the bottom to the top of the units. For the cabin, there are a few new colors and trim choices, and the infotainment system now offers a lap timer application as well as GoPro video-camera integration. We’ve sampled BMW’s embedded GoPro camera controls in a new M3 sedan and found the widget nifty, if slightly restricted compared to the similar GoPro iPhone app.
There are no changes to the M6’s awesome powertrain. The 560-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission remain, and the pair delivers exhilarating performance. Once again, a six-speed manual transmission occupies the option sheet as a no-cost item; BMW wouldn’t offer the stick were it not for the U.S. market, which demanded it stayed. Perhaps there’s hope left for the original M6’s race-car-for-the-street vision.
Down the road, BMW will likely offer a Competition Package, as it did starting with the 2014- model-year M5 and M6. In those cars, the kit raised the V-8’s output to 575 horsepower, added a sports exhaust system, and modified the hydraulic power steering for more directness. Given how the base M6’s mechanical setup enters 2015 unchanged, don’t expect the Competition Package’s upgrades to deviate from the current tune.
Unfortunately, BMW’s mid cycle update for the M6 does not include any sort of diet. Stripping out some weight would go a long way toward making the powerful coupe and convertible duo more engaging to drive. Of course, automakers tend to stray from significant light-weighting measures when doing anything short of redesigning a model entirely, but at least BMW’s updates for the attractive and highly capable M6 were light.