This BMW Special Edition Is One of the Rarest European-Style Grand Tourers–and Now One’s for Sale
For a brief, glorious moment in the 2000s, BMW built a car that could go toe-to-toe with the Autobahn-ready grand tourers from Aston Martin and even Ferrari. The V10-powered M6 coupe is understated BMW styling at its peak, and thus not for everyone. But the rare six-speed manual version might just be the ultimate car for a BMW fan. And one of the few ever built is for sale right now!
A high-revving naturally-aspirated V10 with a manual transmission is a dream combination for many enthusiasts. And for most this unicorn will remain a dream. If you want to go mid-engine you have a reasonable chance of tracking down an Audi R8 from the mid-2000s. But if you want a front-engine, RWD? It’s really just the BMW M5 and M6.
The big M6 is a true grand tourer in the European tradition. A grand tourer is a front-engine, RWD coupe with plenty of room for luggage that excels at highway pulls, but also is relatively fun in the twisties. Various European companies have been building them for a century. And this BMW M6 may be one of the last great ones.
Why? It is naturally-aspirated and high revving for a truly muscular torque curve. It also has a ton of suspension upgrades shared with the best BMWs of the era. Its “M” driving mode stiffens everything up and dramatically changes the throttle response. You can still buy cars in the grand tourer tradition, but they are turbocharged and feature much more driver assist software. There will never be a car quite like this again.
There are certainly downsides to the V10-powered M6. First of all, the front end isn’t anything special. It shares a couple of design cues with the Z4 coupe of the era. But a non-enthusiast might just write it offer as a “regular BMW.” Some drivers will hate this aspect of it. Others will love it.
Second of all, the manual transmission is a bit smoother and more luxurious than sports car enthusiasts might like. If you are taking it through some tight corners, you might prefer a more mechanical feel. This is a common complaint leveled at other grand tourers of the era, such as the DB9 (but a problem Aston Martin fixed by the time the Vantage V8 came out).
Finally, there’s the fact that these things are rare as hen’s teeth. BMW made 701 stick shift V10 M6s for the North American market. And none in Europe. Many of those were convertibles. So most enthusiasts gave up on finding this unicorn of a coupe…until now.
See a recent review of how the six-speed V10 M6 holds up to modern standards in the video below:
A 2007 M6 Coupe with the V10 and manual just dropped on Cars & Bids. It’s black on black with stock rims. The bad news is it has 117,300 miles. But the good news is that its been rebuilt, with its weak factory connecting rod bearings upgraded to aftermarket. It’s also a Florida/California car, so in excellent shape. How much will it go for? Who knows, but this timeless grand tourer is sure to be a future classic.