What makes a modern classic? In many cases, the exulted cars which now wear the label were great right from the start, but somewhere along the way, we got distracted by the latest and greatest, and the inevitable forward march of technology. The F13 M6 coupe isn’t old enough to be a modern classic yet, but the M8 has taken its place in the lineup, and there’s no denying that the M6 and its stablemates belong to the previous generation of BMW design. Once among the most expensive models within the lineup, the M6 has also depreciated substantially from its original six-figure MSRP.
The M6 isn’t actually that old though, and when taking a closer look at the model, it becomes apparent just how capable it and technologically similar models like the F10 M5 and M6 Gran Coupé remain today. The 4.4-liter S63B44T0 V8 under the hood is good for 553 horsepower from 6,000 to 7,000 rpm, and lays down 502 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 to 5,560. In the overwhelming majority of examples built, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with launch control and shifts that are still faster than the majority of new automatic transmissions comprises the drivetrain, but a handful were ordered with the optional no-cost six-speed manual, and the same is true of the M6 Gran Coupé. The current M5 and M8 use an evolution of the S63 V8, and BMW introduced optional carbon-ceramic brakes on models like the M6.
These days, a used M6 coupe with around 60,000 miles or less can be had for roughly $50,000. There’s no need to open up Microsoft Excel to do the math on what’s an obvious performance bargain. The primary trade-off associated with such a bargain is technology, and although BMW tends to stay on the cutting edge, things have changed significantly since the M6 and the 6 Series upon which it is based were developed over a decade ago. Nonetheless, you still get an array of features and conveniences some cars are just now getting, and the whole technology debate brings to mind what is perhaps the most compelling argument for the M6: the way it looks.
Just as technology has changed since the time of the M6, so too has BMW’s design language. Although thew M8 and its Gran Coupé derivative are some of the best looking models in the current BMW lineup, the M6 looks downright restrained in comparison, and comes from that sweet spot after the bangle era, but before the big grilles.
Doug DeMuro hits all of the same valid points in his review of the M6 coupe, and we can’t help but agree with his sentiment. The video is worth checking out, not only because it reveals the secret of the M6 performance bargain, but also because it’s a great example of how the newest model might not always be the best for your money.—Alex Tock
[Photo courtesy BMW AG. Video courtesy Doug DeMuro on YouTube.]