There was a time when only a select group of BMW models wore the vaunted M badge. But with plenty of buyers ready to fork over tens of thousands of dollars more for the added power and prestige it was little more than a matter of time before we expected to see the new 6-Series Gran Coupe get the upgrade – as BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch all but confirmed in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com earlier this year.
The wait is almost over. The latest M-Series model will officially make its debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January. And with an assortment of spy shots leaking out, BMW has decided to release a teaser image of its own of the M6 Gran Coupe.
The pics leave plenty to the imagination, as does the corporate press release. BMW wants to ensure it can draw the media hordes to its booth at Cobo Center in barely two months time. But among the things we have discovered is that the M6 Gran Coupe will deliver a full 560 horsepower, or 115 more than the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 found in the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe.
We’re expecting a few letters of protest from BMW M aficionados who will point out that the M6 Gran Coupe has actually had its formal debut – at the recent M Night at the legendary Nurburgring in Germany. It made a brief, surprise appearance at the event celebrating 40 years of the performance brand. But Detroit will mark the M6 Gran Coupe’s first true public debut – and will likely bring the first complete set of specifications.
If early reports hold accurate, that will mean the aforementioned 560-hp and 502 lb-ft of torque, in line with the M6 Coupe and M6 Cabriolet, as well as the M5 sedan. The M6 Gran Coupe is also expected to share their 7-speed DCT double-clutch transmission.
We’re also anticipating the M6 Gran Coupe will get its own version of those other M-models’ active rear differential, which uses such factors as pedal position, vehicle yaw rate and tire spin to shift power between the two rear wheels.
The s-door M6 Coupe now delivers 0 to 60 times of 4.2 seconds, the Cabriolet coming in a tenth slower, in part, due to its added mass. Barring a surprise upgrade in horsepower, the still more hefty 4-door M6 Gran Coupe would likely see 60 at something closer to 4.5 seconds, though it’s expected to retain the 2-door models’ electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
Visually, the M6 Gran Coupe shown at the M Night at the Nurburgring picked up the M6 Coupe’s carbon fiber roof, the distinctive M-badged double-slat kidney grilles, front, rear and sideskirt styling and wheel arches. But it reportedly also got a unique carbon fiber diffuser lip, according to a report by the BimmerPost blog.
The way things are going, we’ll likely continue to see still more BMW models get the M treatment, though the maker continues to insist that badge is not slated to appear on the flagship 7-Series. Instead, the alternative for those who want maximum performance for that model will come from Alpine with the B7.
(For more on BMW’s plans for the M brand, Click Here.)