As we had long expected, BMW will soon build a high-performance version of its sultry 6 Series Gran Coupe. The German carmaker has confirmed that it plans to launch the M6 Gran Coupe within the next twelve months.
Automobile Magazine senior editor Jason Cammisa broke the news about the confirmation this morning on Twitter, after speaking with BMW officials in Germany. Last week, we also broke the news that BMW would bring four- and six-cylinder diesel engines to the American market.
This morning, BMW U.S. spokesman Dave Buchko confirmed to us that the M6 Gran Coupe will debut in 2013, but he couldn't offer any additional information. The car will be sold around the world, including in the U.S. market.
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (pictured) is the curvy, four-door version of the company's 6 Series coupe and roadster. BMW already offers the M6 in both two-door coupe and convertible trims, so adding the Gran Coupe would complete the go-fast 6 Series family.
We have previously spied the BMW M6 Gran Coupe testing both in sunshine and in the snowy climes of Sweden. Despite abundant camouflage tape, the prototype cars clearly displayed the flared fenders, gaping air intakes, larger wheels, and quad exhaust tips that are signature features of BMW M models. All the car's mechanical components should be identical to those in the M5 and M6: a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with 560 hp, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.
Because the 5 Series and 6 Series Gran Coupe have an identical wheelbase (the 6 Series coupe and roadster have 4.5 fewer inches between the axles), the M6 Gran Coupe will probably have more mechanical similarities to the M5 sedan than to the current M6 models.
It remains to be seen whether BMW will offer a manual transmission on the new Gran Coupe; the carmaker has confirmed plans to sell the new M5 with a six-speed stick at some point in the future, but has yet to make the same promise about the M6.
Sources: Twitter, BMW