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TEST DRIVE: BMW M6 Gran Coupé and BMW Z4 Roadster

Hey Guys,

today here's a strange other guy writing to you. I'm Sebastian from passion:driving. Why I'm writing to you?
Lisa received an invitation to BMW for driving the M6 Gran Coupé und Z4 Roadster in its facelifted version. As Lisa couldn't attend she gave the invitation over to me and so I'm here to tell you something about those two beauties I've been able to drive.

BMW Z4 Roadster

First off the BMW Z4 Roadster sDrive 35is. It has been slightly facelifted this year but - to be honest - nothing special or groundbraking has been changed. Well, there are a few changes but who would even recognize more bright shining LED daylight running lights or the super-new gills at the side of the car just around the indicators? Yupp, you're right: nobody! Oh and with the sDrive18i BMW also added a new entry-level engine. But I'm not sure, if that engine really fits the Z4. As it turns out, BMW isn't sure about this either, so they only offered the sDrive35is for the press test-drives. However, even with that tiny bit of a facelift, the Z4 is still a great looking car. Why change something that still looks stunning? Especially with that awesome and waaaay to long hood at the front, the Z4 has proportions a lot of other sports cars only could dream of. And then there's the engine: a 3 litre biturbo-straigt-six. I still think this engine is what some would call an engineering masterpiece. It sounds like you put a cat on steroids and scare it with a big fat dog. It screams out loud to let everyone around know just about its 340 hp and punches you forward with 500 nm of torque - at least when using the overboost.

But, as you might expect, there is a drawback: remember BMW's old roadsters such as the Z1 or even the direct predecessor, the BMW Z3? Those cars were real driving machines. Roadsters in the best spirit of the proper definition of a roadster: pure, raw, without any uneccessary comfort. Just proper driving machines. The new Z4 now makes some kind of a cut here. It adds many gizmos here and there, heated seats, a super-premium sound system a multi-media satnav and all those things you wouldn't rather expect in a puristic roadster. And as a result all those comfort features sum up to a total weight of more than 1.600 kilos! Sure, the fancy contrast-painted steel-roof adds a lot of weight, too. Not because it's black, but because it made out of steel and has big, heavy and complex mechanics built in to fold in and out. But I think you get my point: the Z4 is not what it seems to be. In every corner you can feel the weight preventing the car from following exactly that direction I point the car to. You can really feel it and that is not what I expect from a roadster. Don't get me wrong. It still offers great fun on windy roads and still it is one of the perfect cars for the summer. But if you like puristic roadsters, get something else. If you love enjoying the sun with one of the most lovely engines ever made: get the Z4 Roadster!

BMW M6 Gran Coupé

With that said, we're coming to the BMW M6 Gran Coupé, finally a proper "M", not only a car with an M-chassis. I'm not exaggerating if I say, that this really makes a difference. The M6 Gran Coupé weighs just over 2 tons but it's like the car just doesn't care. It handles direct and precise, turns in just where I want it to turn in. Sure, one could ask if you really need a four door coupé to handle like a sports car. But the answer is simple: yes, you do! Comparing it to its rivals from Stuttgart and Ingolstadt, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG and the Audi S7, I would clearly point the M6 out as the winner when it comes to handling and sporty driving.

But there's more. Imagine an engine with sheer unlimited amount of power and a sound just like a choir of V8s and V10s just singing for your pleasure. Wouldn't that be great? Oh, it IS great! At lower revs the biturbo-v8 engine just growls and gurgles as only V8s can do. Push the needle of the rev-counter above 5.000 rpm and what sounded like a V8 transforms to the bright melody you normally would expect from a V10. That engine is king - easy as that. And with its 560 hp and insane torque of 680 nm it just runs over the 300 kph mark as if it would be 30 kph in a Fiat Panda.

On the inside you are received by a lot of leather and alcantara in a stunning brown color combined with black leather at the upper part of the dashboard. As you might expect, the build quality is superb. The seats are just a dream, the perfectly fit, hold you tight when driving through corners and still offer exceptional comfort. Speaking of which: the M6 Gran Coupé just is some kind of a perfect match when thinking of comfort and sportyness. Sure, it's still not a proper track tool, but it does what you demand of it and the dampers, ecu and transmisson offer you a lot of settings to play with to set the car up just as you wish. Additionally it offers cool stuff just as the head up display with an integrated gear shift indicator. All in all it's really a great car which offers a lot of luxury and exlusivness. And it even scores with an impressive performce. Nice job, BMW!

Thanks a lot Sebastian!
Don't forget to check out his Blog passiondriving!

Pictures & Text: Sebastian Bauer

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