Used 2013 BMW M6 Convertible
Edmunds' Expert Review
With sharp styling and performance to match, the 2013 BMW M6 coupe and convertible is easily one of the best touring cars on the market.
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.
2013 BMW M6 configurations
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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More About This Model
The new 2013 BMW M6 Convertible is sexy. Not pretty or handsome or beautiful or gorgeous. Sexy. It's provocative, polished and powerful — the sort of car that turns honest accountants into embezzlers in order to afford it.
Amply endowed with a busty twin-turbocharged V8, sheathed in a form-fit body that hugs every curve and perched seductively atop 19-inch stiletto wheels (20s are optional), it beckons you to sin. It spurs shopping sprees that have Citibank calling you worried that your Visa card has overheated. And to bacchanals in Vegas that end with grand pianos being pushed off the roof of Caesar's Palace.
It's that kind of sexy.
Too Sexy for Its Engine
The M6's new turbo V8 represents a break from previous M-spec engines in that it doesn't rely on high-rpm screaming to make power. BMW calls this engine a "high-revving V8 with M TwinPower Turbo Technology," but that's a bit relative. After all, this engine has a rev limiter that shuts it down at 7,200 rpm — more than 500 rpm before the old V10 was even at its power peak.
Where the outgoing 5.0-liter V10 needed 7,750 rpm to scream out its 500 horsepower, the new turbo thumps its 560 hp out at just 6,000 rpm. And while the V10 made its 383 pound-feet of peak torque at 6,100 rpm, BMW claims the turbo V8 delivers a walloping 500 lb-ft starting as low as 1,500 rpm and sustains it all the way to 5,750 rpm. There's less hard-core "Motorsport" in this new engine, but a lot more usable on-road power.
As with the similar 550-hp, "S63" twin-turbo V8 used in the X5 M and X6 M, the M6's "S63Tu" tucks its two twin-scroll, reverse-flow turbos into the valley between the two cylinder banks. So the whole assembly is relatively compact and eerily quiet. The noise that it does make is mostly from the resonators in the exhaust system — designer sound for a high-style convertible.
Bottom line here is that this engine is like having a GE90 turbofan off the wing of a 777 under the hood. And it's the most powerful engine ever installed in any BMW-branded automobile. Only the 6.0-liter, 618-hp V12 BMW built for the McLaren F1 supercar is a more powerful road-going BMW power plant.
The sole transmission backing the new V8 is BMW's equally new dual-clutch, seven-speed automated manual. The transmission operates under three different automatic shifting programs and three more manual shifting schemes. The automatic modes range from butterball lazy to downright aggressive, while the manual modes start at cushy and go up to F1-spec instantaneous.
There's a steep learning curve for getting the most out of the M6's thick layers of technology. At startup every electronic nanny is in safety mode — the transmission is in full soft, the suspension is at full soft, the steering is at its lightest and the throttle is at its laziest. Keep those settings and this may well be the world's most boring incredibly fast car.
Sex on Wheels
We picked up the car in Santa Barbara with suggestions that we should try the road up to San Marcos Pass to get a feel for it. Instead, we chose the slightly bumpier yet twistier Old San Marcos Pass. And it was on that tight, twisting and rising road that both the limitations and talents of the car were on best display.
Left in the softy-soft default settings, the 2013 BMW M6 Convertible would practically shut down when driven aggressively into tight corners. The stability and traction control systems are so conservative that it seems that BMW doesn't trust the big 265/40ZR19 front and 295/35ZR19 rear tires to have any grip at all. The traction control system is so radical that the car will nearly come to a halt in a corner if it thinks you're just not doing it right. Yes, the M6 feels powerful, but also heavy, numb and unexciting when the computers are looking over your shoulder.
So a second run up the road was in order. Off went the nanny tech, everything else was in pure sport mode and...zounds! Using the flappy paddles to shift, the car would rocket toward every corner's apex like a cheetah biting down on a gemsbok's thigh. The perfectly weighted throttle would push the tail out slightly, the hydraulic power steering would react instantly in correction and then the nose would line up for the next application of hyperthrust.
This is a big car, and every one of its 4,495 pounds can be felt when the electronics are minding the store. But choose the superhero setting and the car seems to shrink by half and the power doubles. Even on tight, unflattering Old San Marcos Pass it was utterly brilliant.
A Handful at the Track
Our test drivers didn't feel quite the same way while pushing the M6 through our slalom course. Although it turned in a respectable run of 69.1 mph and 0.92g on the skid pad, a lack of front end feedback made it hard to predict at the limit.
Straight-line testing confirmed the M6's considerable thrust. Its 0-60-mph sprint of 4.2 seconds (3.9 seconds with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip) is nothing short of phenomenal and its 12.2-second quarter-mile time is enough to leave all but the most exotic sports cars trailing in its wake. But be warned. Its electronic launch control system is so difficult to access and use that it's wildly impractical anywhere other than on a racetrack.
It was no surprise that it stopped well, too. The brake discs measure 15.7 inches in diameter up front and 15.6 inches in back, with six-piston fixed calipers in front and two-piston sliding calipers in the rear. Combined with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, consistent stops of less than 110 feet were the norm.
On the open road the 2013 BMW M6 Convertible is an arrogant assembly of comfort and capability. Cruising along at 65 it's almost utterly silent with the top up. But a quick downshift and it will jet to 130 mph without getting much louder. It rushes past semis, large buses and farm equipment like a royal SST ripping through a sea of Cessna 172s. Top speed is limited to 155 mph and it doesn't take long to get there.
Top down, the new M6 Convertible looks downright succulent. Roof up, however, and the M6 takes on a sinister countenance: something like a chopped '50 Mercury with a Carson top. Design elements that carry over from previous 6 Series convertibles include the roll-down rear window and flying buttress trailing edges of the soft convertible top itself.
The top seals perfectly with the push of a single button, but don't expect to see much out of the car when it's up. Those flying buttresses look as good here as they did on the '68 Dodge Charger hardtop, but they limit rearward vision. And the rear window itself isn't much more than a short slit, like a west-facing machine gun bunker on Normandy Beach in 1944.
So the M6 is casual, easygoing sexy with the top down and dangerous, devilish sexy with the top up. It's almost like having two different cars. But add in all the other adjustments available to the driver and the new M6 drives like about 16 different cars.
Sexy Is Expensive
There are plenty of six-figure, high-profile convertibles out there if all you want is something that looks good on Rodeo Drive. Hey, BMW would be happy to sell you an $81,995 640i Convertible if cruising is all that you're after.
But the $113,995 base price M6 Convertible is about crushing performance — it does everything the lesser 6 Series does, and then adds the potential for Millennium Falcon trips through the known universe.
And there's nothing sexier than that.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2013 BMW M6 Convertible Overview
The Used 2013 BMW M6 Convertible is offered in the following styles: 2dr Convertible (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 7AM).
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 BMW M6?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.