Even industry-topping names like BMW can’t always give enthusiasts what they want. So, while certain iconic nameplates like the M5 have been adorning dealer lots without interruption for decades, others, such as the M6 weren’t that lucky. Modern times may be able to fix that and, while we’re still one time machine short, digital artists can now portray the vehicles carmakers skipped over the years. Case in point with this E39 BMW M5 Coupe, which comes to fill the 15-year void in the M6 Coupe lineage.
Did the world need an E39-gen M6? (BMW chassis codes stayed consistent regardless of the body style in that age). Not really, but it sure as hell would’ve made for a highly desirable machine.
And, before we zoom in on the deets of this 3D work portraying that sort of Bavarian animal, allow us to talk about what the Germans did to keep die-hard enthusiasts busy back in the day.
The original BMW M6 (nee M635CSi in Europe) might’ve come to America a full three years after its 1983 Old Continent introduction, but it hit like a missile. The grand tourer mixed damagingly gorgeous classic styling cues with an updated-for-M-duty N/A straight-six that sang like a rock star and made the most out of the myriad of chassis updates. This is a coupe that needs to be experienced, as its numbers don’t tell the full story.
And while all those assets left enthusiasts lusting for a replacement following its 1989 demise, this wouldn’t arrive until 2005. BMW’s Formula One involvement during that era meant the newcomer would sport a mesmerizing atmospheric V10 (yep, it’s a collectible!), albeit with its Bangle-era design splitting opinions. But what about the years in between?
Admittedly, an E39-generation M6 wasn’t exactly a necessity—note that BMW didn’t use different chassis codes for various body types in that era. That’s because the original 8 Series, a grand tourer available with a V10 but no all-out M version, held the role of a Bavarian poster car throughout the 1990s.
As for those aiming for a full-fat M experience focused solely on driving, they got the E46 M3 at the start of the following decade—prices for these legendary cult cars, with their free-breathing straight-sixes, are absolutely insane these days—a recent Bring a Trailer sale saw an M3 Competition of that generation trading hands for $86,000, which is Cayman GT4 (first-gen) money.
The virtual E39 BMW M6 pushes our nostalgia button
Now, digital artist Abimelec Arellano (aka abimelecdesign) reckons that an E39 M6 might’ve had its place in aficionado’s garages, despite the dense range structure mentioned above.
And we gladly agree—just look at the endless crossover and SUV derivatives (think: standard/coupe) BMW and everybody else are currently building. Back in the E39 M5 days, BMW marketed its vehicles under the “ultimate driving machine” slogan. And with the driving experience backing that up, such an M6 would’ve been a blast, not least thanks to the memorable N/A V8 of that era’s M5 (here’s the E39 super-sedan drag racing a Tesla Model S Plaid and a Lucid Air). And the proposed model would’ve mixied that with a more generous interior than that of the E46 M3 coupe, but for less dollar than the stratospheric M8.
And while the current Gen II 8 Series (M8 included) isn’t a hot-seller, as the market continues to shift towards the said crossovers and SUVs, these high-riders weren’t too much of a threat two decades ago when this fictional M6 would’ve landed.
The artist’s creation might pack the familiar face of the E39 M5, but, as with some of the best performance derivatives of the real world, the majority of the body panels have been remastered. As a bonus, BMW’s traditional Hoffmeister kink is here in super-sized form—imagine if the Bavarians had chosen to highlight their identity this way instead of boosting the size of the kidney grille (Captain Nostalgia over and out).