Over the weekend I finally had the opportunity to take the M6 through the Adelaide Hills. So, here are my impressions so far.
At 5.1m long and 1,850kg this is a big car. I was concerned how I'd cope through the hills. Having had an E60 M5 before, I was hoping the driving experience would be similar or at least not worse than that. Had the opportunity to drive with an Audi R8 V10 (damp conditions) and the F430 Scud (dry conditions) on different days. I'm happy to report that the car was able to keep up through the sweepers and medium turns. When it came to the tighter turns, which are almost hair pin like, the M6 lost a bit of ground. Firstly, I had to brake sooner as there was more mass and secondly, it's a big car to turn tightly! Nevertheless, she turned really well and far better than I had expected.
Driving through the hills in Sports mode was comfortable. Body roll was a lot less than the M5 and M3 (E series). I then tried it in Sports Plus mode and that made things even more fun. I was able to turn with more confidence and body roll reduced further. The throttle response out of turns were very good with minimal lag. I do miss the feel of the GT3 in the tight turns but the M6 handled really well. I left the DSC to full as I was still getting used to it. This made some parts of the drive a bit annoying as the power was getting cut back regularly as I tried to accelerate hard out of corners.
Eventually I tried the MDM mode which reduced the DSC. Immediately I had a big grin on my face. As I throttled out of turns, the back started to slide ever so slightly but was easily corrected with steering and throttle play. I was able turn quickly and sharply for the hairpin turns and exit smoothly too with a fair bit of power. It was just simply enjoyable.
Haven't tried full DSC off... not yet, I think
In the straights this car is a dream. Lots of power, smooth and quick gear changes, good feel of the road. Yes, the feel in the steering is not as raw as the GT3, but you just adjust your expectations for it and it's still very enjoyable.
- this car turns really well. I guess the combo of being low, wide, long, heavy and powerful has made this a nicely balanced car.
- brakes are good (steel). on downhill sections into hairpin turns, I had to brake sooner than what I did with the GT3, but this is a 1,850kg car after all! however, it wasn't too bad and certainly a lot better than the E60 M5.
- comfort was awesome. the fact i could now tighten up my driving position as I go through the hills and then move back to cruising position, at a touch of a button, makes me content.
- dual clutch, well this is my first car with one so naturally I'm just so happy with it
- steering response is very good. it's quick, it's tight and I did not feel disconnected at any time. the steering wheel also has a nice feel to it and is of good size.
- doesn't turn on a dime like a GT3.. but, oh well
- exhaust sound too quiet. however, it does have a nice rumble.
- fuel.. omg...
So, as a daily driver, this car is a dream to drive. On Comfort mode the ride is smooth and not too soft, gear change remains smooth (no more jerky SMG II experience) and it sounds cool when I put it in reverse
Overall, this car has met my requirements 100%. As I moved away from having a sedate, practical daily driver + insane weekend sports car, the M6 Gran Coupe has given me the ability to continue to have both experiences in one car. Never going to be as quick and nimble as the GT3, but it's quick enough