Soon after BMW's 6 Series coupe and convertible went on sale as 2004 models, enthusiasts began to wonder about the prospect of a high-performance M edition. After all, BMW is well-known for its potent M3 and M5 models. The M6 is available as both a coupe and a convertible, and it shares its drivetrain with BMW's M5 sedan. Competition for the M6 includes the Jaguar XKR, Cadillac XLR-V and Aston Martin V-8 Vantage.
The M6's 5.0-liter V-10 produces 500 horsepower and 383 pounds-feet of torque and teams with a seven-speed sequential manual transmission. The M6 accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The M6's navigation system offers real-time traffic information.
For 2008, there's a new headlight design and new LED turn signals, as well as a thicker brake light strip higher on the rear deck lid.
BMW says the M6's suspension is "built exclusively for sporting performance," yet the coupe offers all the space and comfort of a typical 2+2 model. Changes to the basic 6 Series design include a modified front air dam with large secondary intake openings that provide additional engine-cooling air. Side sills are aerodynamically contoured. Forged aluminum 19-inch wheels were developed specifically for the M6, and an "M" logo is present in the ornamental side slats.
The coupe's roof is made of carbon fiber, and the car has a better power-to-weight ratio than the M5 sedan. A speed-sensing M Differential Lock promises optimum traction even in difficult conditions. Dynamic Stability Control incorporates two driving programs, including M Dynamic mode, which BMW says is "tailored to the sporting driver." The new convertible is available with a black or gray soft-top.
An optional high beam assist is available for 2008 that turns on the high beams automatically when necessary in low-light situations. Drivers can override the automatic system, however, and turn off the bright beams.
To make the iDrive system more user-friendly, six "favorite" buttons have been added that can store radio stations, phone numbers or street addresses. Also, for 2008 the air conditioner can be adjusted without going through the cumbersome iDrive system.
In addition to the performance potential of a V-10 engine, the M6 offers plenty of luxury amenities. M sport seats include power lumbar and backrest width adjustment. Three-stage heating includes the seat bottom, backrest and side supports. Twin contoured rear seats are separated by a cushion.
Merino leather upholstery covers the seats, console, handbrake lever, door panels, door handles and armrests. Wood trim is installed, but a piano-black finish is optional. MDrive lets the driver select preferred drivetrain and suspension settings at the touch of a button, and an M-specific head-up display is available.
Under the Hood
The M6 is powered by a 5.0-liter V-10 that develops 500 hp and 383 pounds-feet of torque. The engine can rev as high as 8,250 rpm. At start-up, the engine produces a "comfort-oriented" 400 hp, which is more suitable for urban traffic. A button on the selector-lever cover increases output to the M6's top rating. The V-10 drives a seven-speed sequential manual transmission. Drivelogic provides 11 gear-change options: six in sequential mode and five in automatic-shifting mode.
All-disc antilock brakes, Dynamic Stability Control, side-impact airbags for front-seat occupants, and side curtain airbags (in coupes) are standard.