Sunday, February 12, 2012
BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible unveiled!
The new BMW M6 has finally been launched, and both Coupe and Convertible models have been revealed at the same time. An M6 model has not been launched for the 4-door GranCoupe. In the case of the M6 Convertible, it means for the first time the full aural glory of the new turbo M engine can be experienced in a drop top car.
No surprise with what provides the M Power in this car – it’s the twin-turbocharged 4.4 liter M TwinPower Turbo motor in the F10 M5, making 560 horsepower beginning from 6,000 and sustained across to 7,000rpm, and a peak torque of 680Nm from 1,500rpm, with a max engine speed of 7,200rpm. This is 10% higher horsepower and 30% higher torque than the previous V10-powered M6.
For those who have a thing for figures – 560 horses and 680Nm with a DIN kerb weight of 1,850kg takes the M6 Coupe up to 100kmh in just 4.2 seconds, while the heavier Convertible at 1,980kg does the century spring in 4.3 seconds. This is with the quick shifting 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic, the sole gearbox option available with the M6 for now. Top speed is an electrically limited 250km/h, but with the M Driver’s Package this is unlocked to 305km/h.
Power is strictly rear wheel drive through the Active M Differential, which ensures fully variable distribution of drive between the two rear wheels. An electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential helps to reduce the rotational speed differences between the rear wheels, which is needed to optimise traction.
The Active M Differential control unit is linked up to the DSC stability control system, allowing every driving situation to be precisely analysed and a loss of traction at one wheel to be detected at an early stage. The locking effect generated in response can be varied between 0 and 100 per cent, enabling wheel spin to be prevented on slippery surfaces, in instances where the left and right rear wheel have widely differing friction coefficients, in tight bends and when changing direction extremely dynamically.
The M6 has M-specific bespoke front and rear axle kinematics (track width increased by 30mm), and M-specific Dynamic Damper Control. Both the construction of the chassis and its bespoke tuning for each model are defined by extensive expertise from the race track and have been optimised during extensive testing on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit. The power steering system is the hydraulic M Servotronic steering, replacing the electric power steering of the regular 6-Series. The DSC function also has an M Dynamic Mode.
There’s also the option for a newly developed M carbon ceramic brake system for optimum resistance to fade and wear, and lower weight. They’re 19.4kg lighter than the regular brakes, which may not sound like much but we’re talking about unsprung weight, which makes a difference.
You’ll have to fit the optional 20 inch wheels for these 410mm front/396mm rear brakes as the standard 19 inch wheels will only clear the standard brakes.
For weight savings, the M6 Coupe has a beautiful carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof which is unpainted to allow you to admire the weaves.
In addition, their boot lids and – in the case of the BMW M6 Convertible – also the roof cover are made from the glass-fibre composite material SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound).
The unveiling of the new M6 also marks the return of kidney grille badges to BMW cars. Normally BMW only puts badging on the rear of the car. We haven’t seen this on an M6 since the first E24 6-er, where the North American market cars (M6) had the M6 badge on the front, and cars for the rest of the world (M635CSi) had an M badge on the front.
But of course, the badges weren’t exactly smack on the kidney grille back in those days – they were beside the kidney grille on the right. Not sure if this design feature will be exclusive to the M6, or if the other M cars will get these badges as well.
Adaptive LED Headlights are fitted as standard for both models. Their bright white, three-dimensional LED light rings are levelled off to striking effect at the top and lower edges. Both dipped beam and main beam use both light rings.
Providing the light are LED units, which are placed on a horizontal rib running through the centre of the units and feed their light into the reflectors in front of them. This ensures that the distinctive appearance of the twin circular headlights comes across clearly in every situation. The direction indicators – in the form of horizontally arranged LED units – are integrated into the headlight units below the light rings.
BMW says fuel consumption has been reduced over the old normally aspirated V10 powered model by as much as over 30% – the M6 Coupe is rated at 9.9L/100km on the EU test cycle, while the heavier M6 Convertible consumes just 10.3L/100km – this is thanks to the Auto Start-Stop function and other Efficient Dynamics technologies as standard.
On the interior, there are similiar bespoke items in the new M6, for example the M Double Clutch Transmission and the various M-specific controls calls for an M-specific design for the gear shifter area. The instrumentation panel also lights up in white with red needles, along with blue menus, as opposed to amber on the regular 6-Series.
The M6 also gains a unique steering wheel design – something that’s unique for now compared to the M-specific enhancements that the F10 M5 got over the regular F10. The F10 M5′s steering wheel design is very similiar to the regular M5, except for different buttons.
It looks like BMW went all out to include a special steering wheel design for the F12/F13 M6, one that looks similiar to the F30′s M Sport steering wheel.
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