Topping out BMW's impressive M performance vehicle lineup are the M6 twins in coupe and convertible variants.
They sell in the $300 grand bracket so will be, um, fairly exclusive with BMW hoping for about 50 sales a year of each. If you do buy one, you can feel good within yourself for contributing around $100 grand to the Federal Government's Luxury Car Tax so us wage hacks don't get stung as hard - as if.
Inside is a treasure chest of goodies you simply don't get further down the food chain including safety equipment to keep you in your lane, change to high beam automatically and keep you entertained through a 12 speaker audio system.
Did I mention internet connectivity, high end satnav, head up info display and park distance control. That's on top of the heated and ventilated leather clad seats. BMW hasn't held back with these puppies offering both variants comprehensively equipped.
Both cars look sensational on the road, big, imposing and powerful all of which they unequivocally are. Roof deployment/stowage takes mere seconds in the heavier convertible, the one we prefer in styling terms. It looks the goods with the roof on or off. And the plebs get to see you driving around in what is the ultimate M-car.
But they're heavy artillery tipping the scales at around the 2.0-tonne mark - old school big GT cars made for Euro autobahn burning. There’s seating for four adults in individual seats but the rears are tight even though new M6 has been redesigned to provide more rear seat room. The boot size is OK.
The M6 is basically a shorter wheelbase M5 under the skin sharing the same powertrain and all the same dynamic technology and luxury kit. The cars have adaptive suspension, variable steering, multi mode transmission and adaptive limited slip differential with its own multi plate clutch.
The flow of power comes from a 4.4-litre, V8 petrol engine with two, twin-scroll turbochargers, variable valve timing and variable lift, direct fuel injection and other technology designed to optimise performance both in sporty terms and emissions.
The engine is good for a whopping 412kW and 680Nm, the latter at just 1500rpm through to 6000. The effect would be best describes as a rocket sled with this big coupe/convertible capable of clocking a 4.2-4.3 second 0-100kmh split.
This while using petrol in the 10.0-litres/100km range. It scores an EU5 emissions rating and even has engine stop start to cut fuel consumption in city driving. Launch control is at the other end of the spectrum aided by the super slick shifting seven speed dual clutch transmission (with paddle shift).
Naturally, safety isn't lacking either with a full array of primary and secondary equipment designed to either help avoid crashing or surviving in one piece if you're in one.
Having said that, the cars belie their bulk in drive feel offering an engaging drive that's almost totally electronically modulated. You can't really tell except for the over active stability control system that intervenes too early and too often in all modes except off.
Push the big coupe/convertible a tad hard and you can feel the brakes being applied, the power being cut or redirected from one side to the other rear wheel. It's exactly the same as in the M5 sedan. Apparently, there's a half off mode for the Dynamic Stability Control system that you need to nail for optimum driving.
Dynamics on these cars and indeed most BMW M cars is carried out at Germany's legendary Nurburgring race track. It shows. Drivers can spend a good deal of time setting up their M6 or simply push the MDM (M Dynamic Mode) button for full-noise driving. And what a noise it makes - a stirring burble morphing into an angry V8 bellow when the taps are opened complete with a whip crackin' bang at full throttle upchanges.
Their drive feel will appeal to the most discerning driver as will the level of luxury in the cabin.
BMW M6 coupe and convertible
Price: From $292,500 (coupe) $308,500 (convertible)
Warranty: 3 years/100,000km
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Safety rating: Five star (estimate)
Spare: Space saver
Engine: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 412kW/680Nm
Transmission: 7-speed manumatic; RWD
Body: 4.8m (L); 1.9m (w); 1.37m (h)
Thirst: 9.9-10.3/100km; 232-239g/km Co2
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Priced: from $231,500
Engine: 4.7-litre 4-cylinder, 313kW/470Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, RWD
Thirst: 13.9 litres/100km
Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale
Priced: from $388,800
Engine: 4.7-litre 8 cylinder, 331kW/510Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, RWD
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Priced: from $468,820
Engine: 6.2-litre 8-cylinder, 420kW/650Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto, RWD