There is also BMW’s second generation 6 Series Convertible that is a properly desirable luxury GT that’s more affordable to run than its closest rivals, Mercedes’ SL and Jaguar’s XK Convertible. It may not be an out-and-out sportscar, but it’s the finest car of this kind that the Munich marque has yet made.
This BMW doesn’t really shrink around you, hardly surprising perhaps, given that it’s over five metres long, something you’re reminded of every time you glance in the rear view mirror and realise just how far away the back window is.
And under the bonnet? Well, almost all sales are of the 3. 0-litre TwinPower Turbo models, with over 80% of customers opting for the 640d variant.
We also love the M Servotronic steering system, a particularly pleasant surprise given that an ordinary 6 Series model’s standard set-up feels so vague.
The other aspect of this car that sets it apart from many of its rivals is the Active M Differential. This electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential links up with the DSC Dynamic Stability Control system and does its best to harness all that power and torque. Any impending loss of traction on one side of the car is identified at an early stage and anything between 0 and 100 per cent differential lock can be applied within a fraction of a second.
Some of BMW’s proper M cars are only subtly different from their standard M Sport-trimmed model counterparts. This M6 though, looks properly performance-packaged. Here, we’ve got the four-door Gran Coupe variant, offered as a practical alternative to the more conventional bodystyles that make up the M6 range, a two-door Coupe and a Convertible. All get prominent flared wheelarches that draw the eye to this car’s wider track. Plus characteristic M gills, aerodynamically-optimised exterior mirrors and exclusive 20-inch M light-alloy wheels. These neat touches emphasise distinctive looks also enhanced by another M signature, the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic roof, in this case featuring a dynamic recess in its centre.
Not all recent BMW designs have been really elegant – but you might well feel that this one is. Here, we’ve an executive saloon on a casual dress-down day, a car with all the proportions of a classic Grand Touring coupe, yet most of the spaciousness you’d find in a luxury four-door. From the front, you might mistake any Gran Coupe 6 Series model for one of the conventional two-door variety, but move to the side and you notice not only the extra doors but the fact that this is a much bigger car, the 113mm hike in the wheelbase taking the length of this design over the five-metre barrier that marks out really long cars from the rest.
Take a seat upfront and you’ll find yourself in a suitably high-end bespoke cabin with both the dashboard and the M Sport seats trimmed in full Merino leather. Ahead of you lies a grippy M leather steering wheel with multi-function buttons and gearshift paddles and a look echoing the double-spoke design of the M light alloy wheels. Though it, you view an M specific instrument cluster with proper red-needled analogue dials rather than the virtual digital ones fitted to mainstream models. Not that you’ll need to be looking at them too often, thanks to the provision of a full-colour M Head-up display that projects key information right into your line of vision.
Time to take a seat at the wheel, where the 6 Series Coupe cabin delivers a subtle difference to the feel you’d get in the brand’s more conventional 5 and 7 Series saloons. You sit lower for a start – and there’s more of a cockpit-like ambience thanks to the way that the dash curves around you.
It’s very luxurious too, this leather-trimmed dashboard with its lovely contrast stitching now standard on all models.
To be fair, once you do get inside, it’s very comfortable, that extra wheelbase increase doing just enough to make this car a realistic long distance conveyance for two fully-sized rear-seated adults.
Finally, a word about luggage space. There’s 460-litres on offer here in both Coupe and Gran Coupe bodystyles, though that figure inevitably falls to just 300-litres if you opt for your M6 in Convertible guise.
Of all the motivations you might have for using a full-sized luxury car, perhaps the most important is the need for it to make you feel special. And that’s exactly how you’ll feel with one of these in your driveway.
What’s not up for debate is the way this car can make you feel, for its users delivering a perfect symbiosis of performance and exclusivity, dynamism and prestige.
If you can afford to do that though, you’ll find much to admire here. Powerful elegance – that’s pitch-perfect.