2012 Geneva Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- BMW releases photos of its new M6 ahead of its scheduled auto show debut.
- The new M6 coupe and convertible receive the latest high-power version of BMW M division's twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter gasoline V8 engine.
- With 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, the new engine kicks out 60 hp and a substantial 117 lb-ft more than the old M6.
MUNICH, Germany — BMW's M division has lifted the veil on its all-new M6 coupe and convertible, revealing the powered-up two-door performance car siblings in all their production glory for the first time in a series of official photographs. The coupe is set to debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show in March, while the convertible will arrive at the 2012 New York Auto show in April.
As with the standard third-generation 6 Series upon which they are based, the new M6 coupe and convertible represent a sizable shift from their respective predecessors, growing not only in size, accommodation and overall practicality but power, performance and, according to new BMW M division boss Friedrich Nitschke, overall breadth of ability.
"They're still very much cars for everyday use but they've got more of a hard edge about them now," he revealed to Inside Line, adding, "They are now equally at home on the autobahn as at the racetrack."
As well as adopting a new rear-wheel-drive chassis from the latest 6 Series that has been extensively tuned during a test and development program centered heavily around the notoriously demanding Nürburgring circuit in Germany, the new M6 coupe and convertible also receive the latest high-power version of BMW M division's twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine — as used by the latest M5 and, in a lesser state of tune, also seen in the X5 M and X6 M.
With 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, the new engine kicks out 60 hp and a substantial 117 lb-ft more than the old M6 coupe and convertible's naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V10 gasoline unit, which ceased production at BMW's Munich-based engine plant in Germany late last year.
The increases in output, most notably the added torque, combine with the more efficient nature of the M6's new seven-speed double-clutch gearbox in relation to its predecessor's automated seven-speed manual unit to provide the 4,090-pound vehicle with an official 0-62-mph time of 4.2 seconds — eclipsing the 4.6 seconds of its predecessor.
Despite lugging more weight, the new M6 convertible is barely slower, posing claimed 0-62 mph and 0-124 mph times of 4.3 seconds and 13.1 seconds, respectively.
In standard trim, Munich's new four-seat performance coupe and convertible pairing reach a top speed limited to 155 mph. BMW's M division will also offer an optional driver's package that includes an altered engine management system that increases top speed to 190 mph.
Tempering the M6 coupe and convertible's rabid performance is an impressively credentialed brake system. As with much of their mechanical package, the standard steel stoppers are taken directly from the new M5, with vented and perforated 15.7-inch rotors up front and 15.6-inch rotors at the rear, together with six-pot fixed blue calipers and single-pot floating-style calipers, respectively. As on the M5, the calipers are painted blue for greater visual effect than the unadorned gray units of old.
The new M6 can also be specified with an optional carbon-ceramic brake system. Said to weigh 42.7 pounds less than the standard steel braking system, it uses larger 16.1-inch discs up front and 15.6-inch discs at the rear axle, along with the same basic six-pot and single-pot floating calipers. The lightweight units, which BMW say help bring about a significant reduction in unsprung mass, are distinguished from the standard stoppers by gold calipers — as seen on the M6 coupe here.
An aggressively styled body kit and larger wheels and tires help provide the new M6 with a much meaner appearance than the regular 6 Series.
Included is a deep front bumper with large engine and front brake cooling ducts as well as a unique kidney grille treatment complete with a discreet M6 badge, widened front fenders, stylized air vent with blinker repeater unit behind the front wheel arches, widened sills underneath the long doors and a contoured roof panel.
The rear end receives additional reflectors in a reshaped bumper that also incorporates a diffuser element designed to draw hot air away from an oil cooler mounted on the rear axle, and quad chromed tailpipes.
The standard wheels are 19 inches in diameter and measure 9.5 inches in width up front and 10.5 inches at the rear — a respective 0.5 inch wider than those used on the M5. They come shod with 265/40 R19 and 295/35 R19 tires. BMW has confirmed it will also offer a 20-inch wheel option.
Following recent developments at BMW's M division, the new M6 adopts a series of measures aimed at lowering overall weight. Included are plastic front fenders, a CFRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic) roof panel for the coupe, aluminum doors and hood. Despite the exotic mix, the coupe has gained 308 pounds, with the convertible putting on 110 pounds, owing to their larger external dimensions and added levels of standard equipment.
The four-seat interior has also been given all the usual BMW M division upgrades, giving it a more sporting flavor than the plush environment of the standard 6 Series.
Along with the new coupe and convertible pictured here without the disguise of early prototype mules for the first time, BMW's M division is also planning to introduce an unprecedented third M6 model to its growing U.S. lineup within the next 12 months in the form of the recently unveiled Gran Coupe.
BMW refuses to comment, but the latest in a long line of new M division models looks likely to make its public debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September. The upcoming M6 Gran Coupe eschews the two-door layout of its traditional siblings for a more practical four-door coupelike body style that will see it compete head to head with the likes of the popular Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and yet-to-be-revealed Audi RS7.
Like the M6 coupe and convertible, the M6 Gran Coupe will also pack the M5's new 560-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter gasoline V8 engine.
The M6 convertible is planned to go on sale in the U.S. as a 2012 model in June at a price close to the old model's $109,025. It will be followed by the M6 coupe in September, which will retail for around $103,000 as a 2013 model.
Edmunds.com says: We were never huge fans of the previous M6, but this version looks like it has all the bases covered when it comes to slick styling and over-the-top performance.