New hardcore BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible shown in New York


April 17, 2012

BMW M6 coupe at the New York Auto show

BMW M6 coupe at the New York Auto show

Image Gallery (30 images)

BMW’s 6 Series has always been its “golf club" car. A louche boulevardier aiming to impress more than a 3 Series but still with pretensions to sportiness. The range lost its way during the Chris Bangle design era, turning into a large and ugly beast that offended one’s eye and social sensibilities equally. The latest 6 is a much improved creature and BMW clearly had faith enough to unleash a new M variant after a couple of year’s hiatus. As you can see from the pictures, BMW has gone all-in on the aggressive styling. Has the M6 gone hardcore?

OK, maybe not hardcore - what’s happening is this. Just as Mercedes has full-on AMG vehicles and AMG-styled vehicles, BMW intends to do the same with the M badge. This means that the full “M” cars must live up to their billing. Having just produced two of the best driver's cars on the planet - the M5 and the 1M - the M6 really has to perform whilst providing all the comfort and hi-tech that the 6 Series buyer expects.

At the heart of it is the magnificent 4.4 liter twin turbo V8, inherited from the M5, mated to a 7-speed double-clutch transmission and an active differential driving the rear wheels. The four scrolls of the two twin-turbos are phased relative to each other, resulting in virtually no lag under acceleration.

With a rev limit of 7200 rpm, the engine produces a remarkable 560 bhp (412 kW) and a maximum torque of 500 lb-ft (680Nm). These big numbers result in a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 4.2 seconds for the Coupe, with the Convertible taking a tenth of a second longer. Top speed is of course limited to 155 mph (250 km/h), but purchase of the “Driver’s Pack” will get that moved up to 186 mph (300 km/h)

The chassis is specific to the car and includes specially forged front and rear axle elements. Naturally there are active dampers and a bunch of three-letter acronyms to denote intelligent stability and braking systems. Comfort, throttle and steering settings are all independently selectable from the cockpit and programmable into a pair of personal “M” buttons.

The cockpit itself is of course beautifully trimmed in leather, aluminum and carbon-fiber and designed in the usual sweeping driver-centric BMW manner.

The BMW M6 convertible's friendly face (grrr...)

Exterior changes over the standard 6 Series are pretty easy to spot. A black-grilled front valance with huge radiator, brake cooling ducts and a carbon-fiber splitter sweeps back over some seriously pumped wheel arches. The Coupe design is particularly successful with racing-inspired carbon-fiber “double-hump” roof line. The only external area that still grates is the rear trunk and fender treatment. No doubt the combination of safety laws and having to be able to carry two golf bags.

Still, I think this is the best-looking 6 Series for a decade and the experience of the M5 suggests that it will be an entertaining drive. There’s no getting around it - BMW do make some very good cars. Available mid year.

Source: BMW

About the Author
Vincent Rice Vincent Rice has been an audio-visual design consultant for almost 30 years including six years with Warner Brothers Cinemas. He has designed several large retail installations in London and a dozen major nightclubs across the world from Belfast to Brno to Beruit. An accomplished musician and 3D computer graphics artist, Vince also writes for AV Magazine in the U.K. and the Loudscreen digital signage blog. All articles by Vincent Rice

All very nice, but it does make one wonder if BMW and the like have heard of the need to revise our motoring habits. The environment and an aging population dictate that all vehicles, including such cars as the BMW M6, really do have to become A to B machines, not appliances intended to give the less well blessed among us, poor souls, a phalic symbol so that they can pretend to members of the stud fraternity.

BMW have the engineers to build cars that are much easier and safer to drive, while also doing less harm to the environment. Cars that will not let the driver get into trouble of his or her own making without first making it blindingly obvious that they need to act, and act fast, if an accident is to be avoided.

We can't keep moaning about speed cameras, junction cameras, older drivers, draconian drink-driving limits etc. without doing something about them. A car that is much easier and safer to drive can be driven by someone who has consumed more alcohol than it is currently deemed safe for drivers to consume. If we had politicians that could change legislation to reflect that circumstance, it would do wonders for out of town restaurants and public houses etc and bring back the fun to nice evening out. Such cars would not allow the driver to get a speed ticket or a ticket for crossing a red light, etc. Such is the precision that is achievable with satellite navigation (perhaps with motion detection augmentation for tunnels and other such losses of signal) that vehicles can be made to always be in the correct road position to get to where they want at busy junctions etc. and with inter-vehicle communication also avoid hitting other road users. Down go the insurance premiums for such vehicles and few would complain at that.

I suppose the problem is the perennial one of the motor industry being essentially conservative in its outlook. Though even that would change if someone could find some extra wide gaffer tape and put about a food of it across Jeremy Clarkson's mouth so that the rest of us can join the 21st century, while he lives with his outdated attitudes to everything without holding us back. The 'brrm brrm' times are over, live with it.

Mel Tisdale

M series BMW's should all be exciting cars to drive. The new M6 seems to be a step in the right direction but will it be available with a manual transmission. BMW needs to target drivers who want a 911 but need more room. If I want a great driving appliance Lexus already makes one. Performance always sells but sometimes the car companies temporarily forget.

Jeff Goldstein

Put a Mustang grille on it and that wouold be a nice body design for the 2014 Mustang.

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