2013 BMW M6 convertible: First drive review
Munich's newest luxury soft-top is all about muscle and style.
BMW is constantly expanding and renewing the model portfolio of its Motorsport GmbH performance division, its creations best known by their simple "M" prefix. The latest in this vaunted collection is a third-generation M6 derived from the recently redesigned 6-Series. First out of the blocks was the M6 convertible, which was then joined by the M6 coupe. An all-new 4-door M6 Gran Coupe will follow as a 2014 model. All three are powered by the same twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine as the newest M5 super sedan. This 560-horsepower engine makes them the sportiest 6-Series variants ever, with style and luxury to match. The unfortunate price for these improvements is weight gain, running against the current trend for lighter vehicles in the high-end luxury and performance segments.
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The M6 convertible is offered as a single model, with a healthy number of available interior trim and color variations. The car is easily recognized by the black vertical slats of its twin-kidney grille, small M6 badge in the upper right corner, and its huge air intakes with matte-black honeycomb grille inserts. The flared front and rear fenders that stretch over the M6's bigger tires are molded thermoplastic. The front fenders feature chromed M-series gills set in the upper corner of the deltas where the sculpted character lines converge. While the hood and doors are made of aluminum, the trunk lid and roof compartment cover are made from glass-fiber-rich sheet-molding compound.
Its black, power soft-top opens in about 20 seconds and flips back up in a handful more at speeds up to 25 mph. It has a narrow, shallow, glass rear window — with defroster — that can be lowered independently according to your preferences in ventilation. With the sizable blind spots the top generates, the standard front and rear parking sensors are no luxury. BMW has thankfully equipped its potent new convertible with aluminum roll bars that will pop up if sensors detect a potential rollover.
The open-top M6 is richly equipped. Listed as standard features are an automatic engine start-stop mode, Efficient Dynamics brake-energy recuperation, adjustable suspension damping, heated multifunction front seats with adjustable lumbar support, keyless entry, a rearview camera, xenon headlights with adaptive light control, a navigation system with BMW Assist and Bluetooth connectivity, tire pressure monitoring, anti-theft alarm, a ski bag and carbon-fiber trim.
The Driver Assistance package ($1,900) includes automatic high-beam dimming, lane-departure and blind-spot detection systems and parking cameras. The infrared-based Night Vision system, aimed at maximizing pedestrian detection in all conditions, is an extra $2,600. To all this, the Executive package ($4,900) adds a heated steering wheel, soft-close automatic doors, active front seats, full LED lights, BMW's multicolor head-up display, satellite radio and BMW Apps.
To indulge entirely, full Merino leather trim is $3,500, two-tone Merino leather adds $5,000, while the Bang & Olufsen audio system goes for $3,700.
Under the hood
The 4.4-liter V8 engine features a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers mounted between the engine's cylinder banks along with the exhaust catalysts. This innovative "reverse-flow" concept minimizes turbo lag, sharpens throttle response and reduces cold-start emissions. The V8 produces 560 horsepower at 5750 rpm and 500 lb-ft of torque at only 1500 rpm, making it the most powerful engine ever mounted in a production BMW. All that grunt gets to the M6's chunky rear tires through a 7-speed dual-automated clutch gearbox only.
BMW says the new M6 convertible sprints from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds. The slightly lighter M6 coupe takes 4.1 seconds, thanks to standard launch control. Yet fuel economy is reportedly improved by 23 percent over the previous model, thanks to the engine's new Valvetronic induction control, infinitely variable valve actuation, and other trickery such as brake energy regeneration and auto start-stop.
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I'd like to see a little more style in the rear end. Call Pagani for some help.
i got a 2011 528i . with 8 speed .. and it drives so awful.
the transmission cannot figure out which speed it should be in sometimes .
and it either lags or launches like a rocket !!!...
oh I would like 1 but we unfortunayely cant have all that we want not even sometimes