BMW’s M division has given the eagerly anticipated second-generation M6 coupe and convertible significantly enhanced straight-line performance, thanks to the adoption of the 560-hp, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox from the latest M5—a car with which the M6s share much of their mechanical packages.
Set to make their world debuts at the Geneva motor show in March, followed by North American reveals at the New York auto show in April, the M6s are described by BMW as its fastest-ever two-door road cars, achieving a maximum speed limited to 155 mph both in fixed roof and open-top body styles. An optional M Driver’s package takes top speed to 189.5 mph.
At its heart, the M6 Coupe and Cabriolet are all about the engine, and as expected both models use the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 (ironically codenamed S63) to output 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, the latter of which peaks between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. Those figures should sound familiar, as they’re almost exact duplicates of the M5′s specs (the sedan makes an additional two lb-ft of torque), including the 7,200 rpm rev limiter and Valvetronic system.
Mated to the same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as the M5, BMW claims the M6 Coupe will run from a rest to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds, with the cabrio taking an additional tenth of a second to hit the same mark. According to our sources, a six-speed manual option is under consideration, but it won’t be available at launch. And again, just like the M5, fuel consumption has been reduced by 30 percent while power has increased by around 10 percent.
Also included is BMW’s Active M Differential, an electronically controlled multi-plate limited slip diff that works in conjunction with the DSC and the new Dynamic Damper Controls that electro-hydraulically tweak damping force on-the-fly depending on the settings and the situation.
Inside the subtly blistered wheel arches are massive 16.1-inch carbon ceramic rotors in front, gripped by six piston blue calipers, with equally impressive 15.6-inch rotors out back held by a single-piston caliper. The standard wheels are M-specific 19-inch alloys with 265/40 R19 ultra-high performance summer tires in front and 295/35 R19 rubber in the rear, with 20-inch lightweight hoops available as an option.
The M6 interior is a two-tone affair, at least for the M6 Convertible pictured above. Sportier touches over the 6-Series include carbonfibre trim for the centre console, dash strip and part of the door trim, a thick-rimmed M steering wheel and perforated ‘M’ driver’s footrest.
If you want to see the new BMW M6 models in the flesh before they reach Australia in October, you’ll need to head to the 2012 Geneva motor show in March for the Coupe and the 2012 New York motor show in April for the Convertible.
A third M6 model – not yet officially confirmed – is expected to appear at the 2012 Paris motor in September in the form of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe – the company’s four-door version of the 6-Series Coupe that is a rival for the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
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