I picked up the 2016 BMW M6 on a Monday afternoon, resplendent in its stunning San Marino Blue Metallic paint and gorgeous 20-inch seven-spoke wheels – an exclusive design fitted as part of the new Competition Package introduced in mid-2015. By the time I woke up Friday morning, however, it was clear our relationship was already in trouble.
“We don’t mean to bother you,” they said, “but can we put your car in our movie?”For its part, the M6 was clearly made for more than just schlepping to the grocery store, running my daughter to appointments, and navigating cross-town traffic. Oh sure, it could do these things just fine – it could play the part of the docile domestic partner – but it was clearly chafing at the bit. The regular M6 already churns out 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged direct-injected 4.4L V8, and the Competition Package increases the boost pressure to crank things up to a whopping 600 hp, all of which is constantly waiting to be unleashed to the rear wheels through the car’s seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission (a six-speed manual is a no-cost option). So a little prod of the throttle and the M6 would surge forward hopefully, only to be reined tightly back in as another red traffic light loomed up.
For my part, while I enjoyed being seen in the glamourous company of the M6, I found it bossy and demanding. As I drove out of my parking spot it would tug my seatbelt to make sure it was tightened adequately, and warning chimes seemed to go off constantly as I accidentally did things the onboard nannies didn’t approve of. When I dared try to sneak forward with the driver’s door open in order to line up for a photo, the M6 put its foot down and obstinately shifted into neutral. “This,” I thought, “is a car that’s used to getting its own way.”
Looking to reconcile things with the iridescent blue beauty snuggled so winsomely in my garage, I decided that a drive up a twisting mountain road was in order – something that would get the M6 to wake up a little, show some excitement. Alas, even here the M6 felt boxed in and constrained, like a cheetah confined to a dog run. With the M-Drive’s selectable steering, suspension, and powertrain switched to Sport+ mode and some aggressive uphill switchbacks to tackle, I did get a couple of brief glimpses of the car’s wild side, its enormous and awe-inspiring potential. But given that you’ll be exceeding the speed limit anywhere in North America before the speedometer climbs up even one-third of the way around, the briefest of glimpses were all I could get, and the M6’s enormous capability is such that even when you’re going fast it doesn’t really feel that fast. Yep, it’s clear that to really enjoy what the M6 can do, you need a race track.
On autoTRADER.ca: Boss Cars in Movies and Television
I thought that was perhaps the end of it for me and the M6, that I’d be left abandoned with a broken heart, melancholy memories, and no story to tell. But salvation awaited at the top of the mountain. It came in the form of a group of students from Rockridge Secondary School who were participating in the Zoom 48-Hour Film Fest. I’d passed them on my way up the mountain, and the snarl from the M6’s exhaust as I’d shifted gears had grabbed their attention. So when I reached the top and started back down, they were waiting. Flagging me down into a big ski resort parking lot, they crowded around. “We don’t mean to bother you,” they said, “but can we put your car in our movie?”