BMWBLOG headed to California to test drive BMW’s top coupe, the 2014 BMW M6 Coupe equipped with the new Competition Package. With the $7,300 Competition Package, the 2014 M6 Coupe is an even faster and more focused version of BMW’s 6 Series-based Coupe. Power was raised by 15 horsepower to 575 hp and now sprint times are better than ever: 4.1 seconds or 3.9 seconds with Launch Control.
But it’s the updated M6 Coupe all about the power?
INTERIOR DESIGN AT ITS FINEST
BMW is not aiming the M6 Coupe at just the “Ultimate Driver” but rather is focusing on a larger demographic that buys cars for the total package. And in this case, it means a top notch cabin to match the exterior design and power. On the inside you get, in standard form, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, 16-way power heated front seats, front seat memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, carbon-fiber interior trim, interior ambient lighting, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio; iDrive interface with a 10.2-inch display; a rear-view camera; a navigation system with voice commands; smartphone app integration and USB/iPod integration.
Upgrades given to our tester were the Executive package ($3800) which includes LED headlights with automatic high beams, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a Head-Up Display, massage functionality for the front seats and a power rear sunshade. Furthermore, our test car came with the best sound system on the market, the 16 -speaker Bang & Olufsen, Night Vision system with pedestrian detection and extended leather upholstery.
And to seal the deal, the BMW M6 Coupe can be ordered with the Driver Assistance package ($1900) which includes automatic high-beam control, a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot monitor and a camera system with 360 degree view.
Quite a lot of features that will satisfy even the most demanding customer.
GREAT ON THE ROAD, PERFECT FOR THE TRACK
Along with the power increase, the Competion Package brings to the M6 Coupe a revised suspension and damping systems, and more tautly tuned stabilizer bars. In the 2014 BMW M6 this adjustment has resulted in a lowering of the car by around 10 millimeters. The Competition Package also has stiffer front axle while the Active M Differential offers improved traction.
The M Dynamic mode of the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system is even more acutely geared to sporty handling characteristics. The package additionally includes exclusively designed 20-inch M light-alloy wheels style 601M with performance tires.
The sport exhaust system gets an upgrade also and now comes with black chrome tailpipes and BMW says it’s positioned between the stock exhaust system and the M Performance Exhaust system, but not made out of titanium.
Last but not least, the $9,250 Carbon Ceramic Brakes were included as well, one of those options that you don’t know what to make of until you really try it.
We first sampled the M6 Coupe with Competition Package at the famous Estoril Race Track and we were blown away by the raw power delivered by the tuned-up M6.
But how does it handle on the road?
To find out, we spent 10 days with the 2014 M6 Coupe driving up and down Pacific Coast Highway before heading for a long, straight drive to Las Vegas. The combination between twisties and long straights gave us the chance to sample the M6 as a corners’ warrior but also as a modern and elegant Gran Tourer.
Just like the regular M6, the Competition Package model feels very agile for a car that weighs 4255 lbs. Most likely because there was a change made to the suspension. Even with the switchable dampers in their softest Comfort mode, the ride is a bit stiffer and more responsive to driver’s commands. Moving over to Sport Mode and you can instantly feel the car flexing its muscles, increasing its roar and ready to take on the road. And if you’re still not satisfied and need more thrill and raw power, push the Sport+ button and the M6 Coupe changes its character completely. Now the car is sharper and more agile, cutting through corners with precision and confidence. The Carbon Ceramic Brakes are definitely a huge help.
When aggressively attacking the PCH tight corners, the abundant grip of the Michelin Pilot Sport rubber simply didn’t let go, once again increasing our confidence on the road.
The other big change is in the steering which delivers better road feedback to the driver. The firmed-up suspension and new bushes give the steering a sharper response and doesn’t feel as light as before.
The twin-turbo V8 with its 15 hp extra might not feel like a huge upgrade and truth is that it is hard to feel the extra ponies on regular roads. Turbo lag is still there at low rpm and in Comfort mode, but it slowly dissipates north of the 3000 rpm zone and especially when the damping system is set to Sport+. Now the responses are near-instantaneous and makes us forget, for a second, that this is still a big, heavy coupe.
The DCT still isn’t our favorite dual-clutch transmission, but only because of the veto power of the Launch Control. Even after experiencing it before on the track, we still had a hard time getting the right combination. But here are some of the steps to take:
- Engine has to be at the optimal temperature
- Drive Logic has to be in S3
- Press slightly on the brake pedal
- Push gear lever forward and hold it until Launch Control is indicated
- Push the throttle until it revs up to 3000 rpm
- Release the gear lever
Yes, that all has to happen!
On long straights and through the boring desert leading to Las Vegas, the 2014 BMW M6 Coupe acted as a gentleman, offering a calm and safe ride, without being overly boring. And when entering the Las Vegas Strip, heads turn instantly. That Sakhir Orange really stands out in the impressive artificial light generated in Vegas.
Fuel consumption is not great, but when a car has a price sticker of a $120,000, gas money is just change. We recorded 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 15-16 mpg in combined driving, depending on the land conquered.
SHOULD I BUY ONE?
At $120,000, fully loaded, the 2014 BMW M6 Coupe is already an expensive car, so if we were to trade off something that would be the Competition Package while retaining the amazing Carbon Ceramic Brakes.
Some pundits may also say that the less practical and slightly cheaper Porsche 911 is a better ride, and they might be right, but the purchasing decision comes down to your needs, in this case, a pure sports car versus a gran tourer that does well on track as well.
Oh, and this one of the last GT luxury cars that comes in a manual also. If you fancy that…
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