The M6 had a lot to live up to. Many of us fondly remember its shark-nosed predecessor. Although it stayed around a little longer than perhaps it should have done, this was a car that oozed charisma, with classic old shots of M6 Touring Cars making it one of the coolest cars the late seventies produced. That old M6 was a formidable thing for its day, packing 286bhp from its 3.5-litre V6, enough to propel it to 60mph in 6.2 seconds. From there, it would run on to a top speed of 149mph. The 16mpg average fuel consumption wasn't anything special but when a car looked as good as the M6, who cared? The latest generation car shifts the goalposts to another dimension. Despite the massive increase in power, it's more economical, safer, bigger and cleaner than its predecessor. In real terms it's not even any more expensive. It's hard to escape the realisation that we've never had it so good.
Although the old M6 was often thought of as a less pure sports car than the equivalent M5, this is no longer the case. Whereas the original M6 was, in effect, a 7 Series coupe, the latest version takes a contemporary 5 Series chassis and as such offers a stiffer, lighter and more compact body. Arriving in UK dealers in November 2005, the M6 was significantly more expensive than the multi-talented M5, which capped sales somewhat. Nevertheless, compared with cars like the Bentley Continental GT, the Ferrari 575 and the Aston Martin DB9, you'd have to say the M6 was a bargain. The hard top model was joined by a convertible in September 2006.