What's New for 2013
The 2013 BMW M6 has been fully redesigned.
Sometimes, a simple letter is all that's needed to get driving enthusiasts excited. Like the "Q" division in the storied James Bond series, BMW's M division combines science and engineering with a touch of madness to produce a vehicle that serves to inspire and excite. That "M" stands for motorsports, but in the case of the 2013 BMW M6, it might as well signify "more."
After a two-year hiatus, the M6 is back. Besides the benefits that come with the new 6 Series (sharper styling, roomier front-seat accommodations and more useful trunk space), the M6 provides more power under the hood — a lot more power. Output from the M6's twin-turbo V8 even tops that of its predecessor's high-revving V10 engine.
With 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque at your command, one might assume that the M6 is a handful to drive and a bit of an untamed beast. In classic M style, though, all of this power has been beautifully balanced by not only a well-tuned chassis but also an abundance of electronic assistants which together deliver a manageable and civilized ride.
Thanks to top-notch interior materials, skillful assembly and all of the latest electronic conveniences found in luxury flagships, the 2013 BMW M6 won't require much in the way of sacrifices.If there is one complaint, it would be the hefty amount of weight here, which limits not only performance but also driver confidence.
As a world-class high-performance touring car, the M6 excels. With a price tag just north of $100,000, we'd expect no less. At this level, the M6 competes with the Jaguar XKR, the Mercedes CL-Class and even the Audi R8. The M6 stands out in this group for its everyday versatility as well as its performance. The 2013 BMW M6 definitely delivers more of everything.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 BMW M6 is available as either a coupe or convertible, both of which are offered in one, very well-appointed trim level.
Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a power-operated fabric top (convertible), a sunroof (coupe), automatic adaptive xenon headlights, heated and power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, sun-reflective leather upholstery, 16-way power heated front seats (with four-way lumbar support), front seat memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, carbon-fiber interior trim and interior ambient lighting. Electronic features include Bluetooth, BMW's iDrive interface, a rearview camera, a navigation system and a surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration. Also included are driver-adjustable settings for the suspension, transmission, steering and engine in varying degrees of comfort to all-out performance.
An optional Executive package includes LED headlights, soft-close automatic doors, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, massage functionality for the front seats and smartphone app integration. To that, the Driver Assistance package can be added, which includes automatic high beams, a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot monitor and a speed limit information display and an array of cameras that provide top-down and around-the-corner views.
Stand-alone options include some (but not all) of the packaged features along with 20-inch wheels, a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, ventilated front seats, night vision with pedestrian detection, and various leather upholstery and interior wood trim choices.
Powertrains and Performance
Under the 2012 BMW M6's long hood is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces an impressive 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automated manual with shift paddles is the only transmission offered. It also has an automatic stop/start engine function to conserve fuel at stoplights.
In Edmunds performance testing, a convertible M6 sprinted to 60 mph in a mere 4.2 seconds. We expect the coupe to be marginally quicker since it's lighter by some 480 pounds.
Standard safety equipment on all 2013 BMW M6s include antilock disc brakes with advanced standby and drying features, hill-hold control, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags, knee airbags, active front-seat head restraints and the BMW Assist emergency telematics system.
In Edmunds brake testing, a convertible M6 came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet, an average distance for this class of car on summer tires.
Interior Design and Special Features
As one would expect from a range-topping BMW and $100,000-plus vehicle, the 2012 M6's interior boasts excellent materials and world-class craftsmanship. The iDrive electronics interface competently manages the varied M6 systems, but some may find it a bit complicated when compared to some of the more intuitive controls in competing vehicles.
Front seats feature lots of power adjustment to ensure either a comfortable fit or racecar-like lateral support. Rear-seat passengers will not fare nearly as well, as the cramped space is suitable only for small children.
Unlike some other convertibles in this range, the drop-top M6 won't require much in the way of functional compromises. With the top up, the well-insulated cloth roof is free from any whistles or leaks at highway speed. With the top down, the glass rear window can be raised to provide an effective wind blocker, permitting civilized conversations and preventing a bad hair day. Also noteworthy is the useful trunk, which measures 12.4 cubic feet (10.6 cubic feet with the top retracted). The coupe's trunk holds 13 cubic feet.
It's a fair assumption that the 2013 BMW M6 will bring a smile to the face of the most power-hungry motorist. What we found surprising, however, is that the M6 is a joy to drive whether you're just leisurely cruising down the highway or stomping on the throttle. Thanks to adjustable settings for the suspension, steering, transmission and throttle response, the M6 can adapt to your every mood.
In its sharpest performance settings, this car is a fire-breathing beast that snorts and snarls with uncommon aggression. Yet the acceleration won't terrify you, as it's accompanied by a refined stability control that modulates power delivery without completely shutting down all of the fun.
Even so, this M6 is a heavy grand-touring oriented machine. Once you add the poor sightlines over the long nose from the driver seat, it becomes clear that this car is better when the road is fast and open. This is a grand touring car, not a sports car.