Volkswagen may own one of MotoGP’s most successful motorcycle makers, Ducati, but BMW has the last laugh when it comes to brand recognition within the sportbike series. With decals and paint, all motorcycles look alike.
BMW’s M6 Gran Coupe doesn’t, though. It’s now part of the fleet of BMWs that serve as official cars of the MotoGP series, including it, the M6 coupe, M5 sedan, M3 coupe, and M550d wagon that’s used as a medical vehicle. Neither the 5 Series wagon nor its tri-turbocharged diesel engine are sold in the U.S.
BMW allows some if its “lesser” cars to be used for non-safety vehicles. As the sponsoring automaker of MotoGP for the last 15 years, it has a wide level of exposure with MotoGP fans, which is a much bigger racing series abroad than it is in the U.S. Even still, it’s not like BMW is just there to show off its cars. BMW Motorrad (motorcycles) has been around as long as the automaking side of the company.
The BMW M6 Gran Coupe only complements the track activities. It’s no slouch in its own right, hitting 60 mph from standstill in a factory-estimated 4.2 seconds, putting 560 horsepower to the ground via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In Europe, that will stay the case, but demand in North America has forced BMW to offer up a six-speed manual transmission for 2014.
Even though we don’t get motorcycle racing on this side of the pond, we do get special treatment when it comes to our M cars.