The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing. A little over six years ago Dan Prosser – you know, the one from the videos – wrote for PistonHeads about the BMW M6 Gran Coupe. Most displeased he was, too, saying that the GC “isn’t a good M car”, that much of it was “folly masquerading as attention to detail and motorsport breeding” and, perhaps worst of all, questioning the brand as a whole: “BMW M has just been dragged even further away from where enthusiasts like us want it to be” was the cutting final sentence. Ouch.
But look now, oh innocent Prosser, at where BMW has got to. There are M versions of the X3, 4, 5 and 6 SUVs, six cylinders have gone from the M135i and the M3 – heaven forbid – is going four-wheel drive. By comparison the M6 Gran Coupe, boasting rear-wheel drive only, a dual-clutch gearbox (not a torque converter) and a kerbweight of less than two tonnes, is as pure as the Virgin Mary. All things being relative, you understand…
And let’s be honest, BMWs haven’t been about motorsport breeding for a very, very long time – it’s a stick used to beat the ones we don’t like very much. Nobody took umbrage with the E39 M5 not being a homologation special, or the fact that the E46 M3 was 1,500kg, or that the E92 GTS had precious little to do with racing – did they?
Instead it’s best to consider the M6 Gran Coupe – and many modern M cars, to be honest – as very fast and luxurious sporting saloons; ones that, if not at the top of their class, aren’t far off. With both the new 8 Series Gran Coupe and M8 imminent, the cars that indirectly replace the 6 Series, it seemed apposite to revisit the old M6.
At its most blunt, an M6 was a lot like a M5, albeit much sexier to look at and more pleasant to sit inside. And while the old F10 is unlikely to be anyone’s favourite M5 ever, that didn’t stop it being a devastatingly capable device. Bring that sort of ability together with styling that looks better than it ever has (particularly in light of BMW’s recent efforts) and the fact that this very car is £30,000, and it’s easier to make a convincing case for a 560hp 6 Series than it ever has been.
Depreciation has always been the second-hand buyer’s friend where flagship series production BMWs are concerned, and that’s proved true for the M6 like any other. This 2013 car has covered just 37,000 miles across two owners, with services at BMW dealers to back that up; while some might not entirely agree with the wood inside, silver paint with black leather shouldn’t prove too contentious. And, praise be, the glass is clear!
Of course, the old adage rings true with the M6 Gran Coupe as much as any other: while now a £30k machine, it’s still going to have the running costs of a £100,000 car. Keeping a two-tonne, 190mph car in fine fettle will never be an affordable endeavour, and that’s before considering any further depreciation that’s surely heading the BMW’s way.
That’s hardly an M6 specific trait, though, more a general point to be aware of. At less than a third of its new price, and with the various changes at BMW since its introduction, the charms of the M6 Gran Coupe are arguably even more seductive than they’ve ever been. Just don’t tell Prosser we said that…
SPECIFICATION – BMW M6 GRAN COUPE
Engine: 4,395cc, V8, twin-turbocharged
Transmission: 7-speed double-clutch automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 560@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 502@1,500rpm
First registered: 2013
Recorded mileage: 37,000
Price new: £97,490
Yours for: £30,990
See the original advert here.