crankandpiston.com joins BMW Club UAE for a drive on the Jebel Jais mountain road in Ras Al Khaimah in the BMW M6 Gran Coupe.
I’m standing outside the main BMW showroom in Dubai early on a Friday morning, a revolting coffee and a half eaten piece of toast in one hand, and a clipboard in the other complete with a six-page waiver form on BMW headed letterhead. I hadn’t expected this when BMW Club UAE invited crankandpiston.com on a drive to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah.
It’s a telling sign of the changes afoot for BMW Club UAE, and in particular its organising body. Despite only being in operation a couple of months, the new board has been in talks with the marque’s international owners’ club in an effort to raise the regional club’s credibility. As a result, regulations have tightened and the days of pratting around are gone: stack your car and you risk the wrath of the rest of the club when drive events are cancelled. A change in regs doesn’t seem to have dinted enthusiasm though, as a sea of mixed-gen M3s, M5s, M6s, 125is, convertible 330s and the occasional BMW 4 Series Coupe attests.
And then there’s crankandpiston’s weapon of choice, the new BMW M6 Gran Coupe. On paper, it’s an ideal contender for the shenanigans ahead. Powered by a 4.4-litre turbocharged V8 spits out a sizeable 552bhp and 502lb ft of torque, will demolish 0-100kph in 4.2 seconds and boasts an electronically limited top speed of 250kph (or 305kph if you plump for the slightly racier M Driver’s Package). To put that into context, this luxury coupe will hit 100kph quicker than a Jaguar F-Type V8 S.
Being the only M6 Gran Coupe in the flock – and a gorgeous San Marino Blue example to boot – it’s not long before handshakes are given, engines hoods are popped and banter exchanged: though there are superb examples in our line-up this morning, the M6 Gran Coupe is more than holding its own. There’s a beautiful flow to the subtle bodylines, air-intake festooned front bumper and strikingly carved headlights, offset by the M6 badges on the kidney grille, front fender (which boasts a pretty cheeky ‘S’ bodyline) and bootlid. For me the rear is handsome if a little pinched, and I do wonder if the gold calipers are really necessary against the 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, but the profile is simply extraordinary. It’s the kind of design you want framed and hung on the office wall.
Backs are slapped and with approving glances in the bag, it’s time to hit the road, which with a near 30-strong BMW convoy proves a little hard to do gingerly. We’re barely two kilometres into the drive when the convoy is stopped for a ‘quick chat’ with a local bobby.
One siren-related mishap aside, the 110km cruise to RAK proves a doddle. The minimalist(ish) centre console and i-drive rotary dial make tuning the radio to, as my illustrious colleagues call it, ‘that crap you listen to’ a doddle. I’m particularly keen on the centre speaker that rises out of the dashboard too. There’s plenty of headroom up front (though a little extra in the rear wouldn’t hurt), and the seats – lowered almost to the carpet – offer good lumbar support.
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