I test drove a BMW M6 Gran Coupe last week, and I had more fun driving it backwards than forwards.
You see, driving it forward is a little stressful. The vehicle weighs almost 4400 lbs., and reacts to hard direction changes much as a plate of jello would – with the top half and bottom half are going in different directions. Accelerating around a corner in second gear causes transmission confusion, as if the accelerator sent a message to a snoozing transmission, who awoke abruptly, and selected a gear too low, causing wild rocking back and forth before smoothing at the next downshift.
The engine sounded great – in Dolby Surround Sound, that is. BMW pipes the engine sound through the stereo. I really don’t mind it – actually, I prefer they take it a step further – give me a Engine Sound Volume Knob, so I can really impress my passengers.
However, the highlight of my entire drive was parking it. BMW has a feature called “Park Assistant,” which uses cameras mounted under the rear view mirrors to look for a parking spot. It shows a bird’s eye view of your vehicle, and the empty parking spot. Reversing in-between two cars on the lot was almost like playing Frogger. Supposedly I could have pushed a button, and the M6 would have parked itself. Wow.