Now with eight cylinders instead of ten, 4.4 litres, twin turbochargers and 560HP, the new M6 Coupé and Convertible are the fastest two-door cars that BMW has ever made for the road. They will go on sale in the UK on 15 September 2012, priced at £93,795 for the Coupé and £98,995 for the Convertible.
The high-revving, turbocharged V8 is the same one used in the M5 Saloon, an engine that not only produces 53HP more than the ten-cylinder but – vital to driving pleasure – boasts a ‘greatly improved torque output over a broad band of revs’: 680Nm, no less, available from as low as 1,500rpm. Yet, despite the incredible performance (0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds for the M6 Coupé, with the M6 Convertible in 4.3 seconds), the reduced number of cylinders, start-top technology, brake energy regeneration and active aerodynamics have helped keep fuel consumption down.
The 28.5mpg Combined claimed for the Coupé (27.4mpg for the Convertible) and CO2 emissions of 232g/km (Convertible 239g/km) equate to a car that is – says BMW – 30 per cent cleaner and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. As standard, the new M6 models use BMW M’s latest seven-speed Double Clutch Transmission. This has two oil-cooled ‘wet’ clutches for near-seamless shifts, and three separate shift programmes, whether in automatic or manual mode.
Styling changes are fairly minimal. There’s a new M apron at the front, with wide air-intakes to cool that twin-turbocharged engine, a ‘significant swelling’ of the front wheelarches to accommodate a 30mm increase in the front track, and the now-familiar twin pairs of exhaust pipes at the rear sitting either side of the diffuser. The standard alloys are 19in, with the option of 20in, lightweight alloys with five double spokes.
The M6 Convertible borrows its retractable roof from the 6 Series Convertible, with the ‘fin’ architecture projecting into the rear section and enhancing the car’s silhouette, and a heated vertical glass rear window which retracts independently of the roof.
The new M6 models have a revised chassis, with a rear axle subframe bolted directly to the body and the front axle redesigned with M-specific settings. Some of the 6 Series’ suspension components have been replaced with forged aluminium items, while the electro-hydraulically controlled dampers feature BMW’s Variable Damper Control (VDC) with a choice of three settings. For the first time, buyers can even opt for M Carbon Ceramic Brakes for the ultimate in stopping power.
Inside the cabin, the standard equipment is impressive, including two-zone climate control, heated and multi-adjustable M Sport seats, Merino leather interior trim and BMW Professional Navigation with a 10.2in colour screen. But then, buyers paying close to £100k have a right to expect something rather special.