For my first BMW post, I wanted to go with something a little more unique than a run-of-the-mill M3 or M5. I can’t imagine that many people are aware that BMW offers their M6 Gran Coupe with an option for a manual transmission. This makes it one of very few high-end, performance oriented luxury sedans still available with a third pedal. There is no such option available on the Porsche Panamera or the Audi RS7, and certainly not on the Mercedes CLS63 AMG. So I decided to go with a very striking Sakhir Orange Metallic M6 Gran Coupe with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Searching through various BMW forums, I couldn’t find anything on a manual M6 Gran Coupe. However, I did come across a thread on m5post where a consumer was recently contemplating whether to order their new M5 with a DCT or a manual (6MT), and asking for guidance on what to order. Surprisingly for a car enthusiast forum, the vast majority of votes went for DCT. Commenters said that the F10 M5 was not designed for a manual, and that the DCT was much better suited to the car. In the end, the original poster decided to go with the DCT. Bummer, but I guess that makes the manual that much rarer. Anyhow, given the unpopularity of the 6MT on the current M5, I can only imagine that it’s even less common on the M6 Gran Coupe.
I was pretty surprised to come across a F06 BMW Gran Coupe in the neat shade of Frozen Bronze Metallic (X11) this week while surfing the sea of black, silver and white examples out there. Don’t believe me? There are some 32 Gran Coupes selling used on eBay as of the time I write this; only four of them are not one of those shades. Two are dark blue which is lovely, but the Frozen Bronze somehow is a bit more in character with the model somehow. But, to order one you need to go through BMW Individual, so I was doubly surprised to see a second Individual Gran Coupe in the same shade. I can’t help but consider these cars homages to the E24 L6s and early M6s, with their fully leather-wrapped interiors and optional Bronzit color. Which one pulls off the Matte better?
For years, the BMW 5 Series has served as a textbook example of a sports saloon. While BMW kept perfecting this genre of automobile, Mercedes-Benz spotted an opportunity in the market, developing a whole new vehicle sector: the four-door coupe. The phrase seems an oxymoron but what you are really getting is a four-door vehicle with a much more swept back roofline and four-place seating in most cases. Even Volkswagen muscled their way into this segment with their Passat CC.
Today we’ll take a look at two recent BMW offerings, both with V8 engines mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox: the 550i and the M6 Gran Coupe. We’ll start with this 2012 550i for sale in North Carolina.
If I’m brutally honest, I’m not a huge fan of most of the newer BMW designs. As my wife says, I’d be happy if Journey was still on the radio and everyone was walking around with a mullet (that’s only half true…). But that’s not it; as I was saying to her just yesterday, I just don’t get excited about most of the new designs that come out. It wasn’t always this way – I remember eagerly awaiting the next issue of the multiple car magazines I subscribed to so that I could immediately flip to the section I found most exciting – the upcoming cars feature. But that enthusiasm has waned as cars have grown more complex, isolating and expensive. Sure, they’re faster – and even basic models do everything much better than even some “supercars” from the 1980s. But I don’t look at them and get excited like I did when the S4 first launched, for example. But, a thought occurred to me – while I’m not the biggest fan of these cars, proportionate to what you used to receive they’re simply a better value and better cars. We can pontificate about the virtues of the E30 M3 to no end, but the reality is that even around a track, the bone-stock 328i all-wheel drive wagon below would give it a run for its money without much difficulty – and in every other aspect, it’s a better car. We’re really still in the midst of a horsepower revolution, but that power is translated to the ground better than before with more sophisticated transmissions and computer aids along with all-wheel drive available in most packages. But it’s not just speed – not only can these fast cars get you to the Alps, they are like the luxury resorts when you get there, with fine materials and fit and finish that are really top quality. In a word, they’re spectacular at being cars that are much more functional in multiple facets than anything previously. So, here’s a lineup of some neat newer BMWs; while I’m not the biggest fan of all the packages or designs, one thing that I do love is their blues – so here’s a round up of most of them: