I personally can’t get enough of these retro-reviews from Car and Driver. As someone who has stacks of Car and Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track magazines, looking back at how cars were reviewed in their own time is something of a guilty pleasure of mine. So when one of those aforementioned publications posts one of their reviews from long before I was able to collect magazines, I get positively giddy. This specific one comes from July 1987, in which Car and Driver reviewed the original BMW M6.
Back in the ’80s, the BMW M6 made its way to North America with a 3.5 liter inline-six with 256 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque. That engine was paired with a five-speed Getrag-sourced manual gearbox and sent power to the rear wheels. It was capable of 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds and it felt even faster than that on the road. However, its outright speed isn’t what made it so great. In fact, it was the last thing Car and Driver cared about because of the rest of it was so good.
It’s funny, looking back, the original BMW M6 doesn’t seem like a hugely exciting car. However, C&D’s staff raved about it and couldn’t get enough of it. Not only was it considered to be incredibly beautiful at the time but its interior was also beloved for its immense quality and luxury.
Yet, it also did all the important stuff right. The BMW M6, despite being luxurious, had the perfect driver’s seating position, with fantastic feeling seats and a near-perfect steering wheel. Aside from its annoying seat controls, it’s interior was considered to be nearly flawless.
So too was its driving experience. Sure, it wasn’t as fast as the Corvette at the time, while costing double the money, but it was so much better to drive than the ‘Vette. The BMW M6 boasted telepathic steering feel, an excellent chassis and an overall sense of enjoyment that it was almost impossible to beat.
When we think back about some of the best driving cars in BMW’s history, the original BMW M6 is rarely discussed. Read this retro-review, though, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t always considered to be one of the all time greats.
[Source: Car and Driver]