BMW is known for building cars and SUVs that combine everyday practicality with enhanced performance. Its series of M-badged high-performance variants, in particular, are often regarded as some of the best performance cars in the world. It therefore stands to reason that the BMW M6, as the company's flagship performance coupe (and convertible) is something truly special.
Though there have been two generations of the M6, it is the more recent one that people are most familiar with. Though not a true sports car, the M6, thanks to its 500-horsepower V10 engine, versatile suspension and powerful brakes, can challenge the world's best on just about any road. At the same time, it offers all the comfort and luxury one would expect from BMW's premier coupe and convertible. The M6 is on hiatus while the M division cooks up a new version based on the forthcoming next-generation 6 Series.
Most Recent BMW M6
The most recent BMW M6 was produced from 2006-'10. The coupe was available throughout that run, while the convertible arrived for '07. Both versions employed a 5.0-liter V10 engine that produced 500 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed sequential manual gearbox (SMG) was standard, while a traditional six-speed manual was available in all but 2006 models. Compared to its contemporary M5 sedan, the M6 offered greater performance due to a slightly lighter curb weight and a lower center of gravity.
The look of this M6 took the low-slung style of the mainstream 6 Series coupe and convertible and added unique front and rear fascias. These not only contributed to a more sporting look, but also served to enhance performance and aerodynamic efficiency. The exterior was further differentiated by unique trim, mirrors, wheels, colors and a quad-outlet exhaust.
Edmunds editors found the performance of the BMW M6 to be simply intoxicating. The sounds emanating from the V10 power plant were like nothing else available to consumers. The M6 convertible only added to the aural pleasure. With the sun and sky overhead, the song of an F1-inspired V10 in your ear and 500 hp underfoot, life just doesn't get much better for an automotive enthusiast.
With an F1-racing-inspired engine and transmission, it seemed only logical that a fully programmable driving experience be included. Owners could choose among three different engine programs that vary horsepower between 400 and 500, along with throttle response, at the push of a button.
Inside, the M6 displayed a handsome though staid design aesthetic. Buttons and switches were kept to a minimum thanks to BMW's iDrive electronics interface. However, other than the vastly improved iDrive introduced in the M6's final year, we found this earlier iteration of this technology frustrating to use and a serious drawback to an otherwise very appealing car. Space is what you'd expect in such a sport coupe: great for two people, not so much for four. Storage space was also lacking.
Previous BMW M6 Models
The first generation of the M6 was imported briefly to the U.S. market starting in 1988. Based on the 6 Series coupe of the time, the M6 was powered by a 3.5 liter inline-6 engine that produced 256 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. Production ended in 1989.
Read the most recent 2014 BMW M6 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used BMW M6 page.