The M models are some of the most distinctive products ever produced by BMW and 2012 is no exception. In fact, we are seeing the M badge on more products than ever these days, from last year's limited-edition 1 Series M to the new M550d, a triple-turbo, diesel-powered monster that suggests BMW engineers can turn just about anything into a rocket ship. The new 2013 BMW M5 goes on sale later this summer followed by the new 2013 BMW X6 M.
The new M6 transforms BMW's new 6 Series Coupe and Convertible models into the most powerful two-door offerings ever to roll off the Bavarian maker's assembly lines.
Starting off with the already impressive BMW 6 Series models that were redesigned for 2012, the new M6 charges into the showroom powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 making a 560 horsepower. For those keeping track, that's 20 more than the same high-revving powertrain currently churns out under the hood of the BMW M5. The better news is that the engine's 500 pound-feet of torque is available across a wide rev range, from 1500 rpm all the way up to 5750 rpm. Credit two twin-scroll turbochargers located in the valley between the cylinder banks, which results in an unusually compact powertrain.
The 2012 M6 Convertible will be first to market, just in time for convertible weather, with the Coupe to follow later. BMW says the M6 Convertible can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in 4.3 seconds, with the M6 Coupe a tenth quicker. The maker says you'll hit 200 kmh, or 125 mph, in 12.6 seconds, with both models electronically limited to a 155 mph top speed.
The new BMW M6 might disappoint a few purists, however, as the Bavarian maker has decided to stick with a double-clutch transmission rather than also offering a manual gearbox. But considering the way the double-clutch performs on the M5, complaints are likely to be limited.
To help get all that power to the pavement, the new Active M Differential uses an electronic data link to the new BMW M6's Dynamic Stability Control system, meanwhile, to smoothly shift power to the driven wheels to maintain maximum traction at all times.
Surprisingly, BMW has achieved the once seemingly impossible, reporting that the new M6 will deliver about 30-percent better fuel economy than before. That's in the European test cycle, however, and it remains to be seen if it can match that number in the U.S. Nonetheless, there's likely to be a double-digit improvement once U.S. EPA testing is completed.
Visually, the new BMW M6 is distinguished by bigger wheels, with 20-inch rubber available, massive front air scoops and other classic M series detailing.
To scrub off speed, both versions of the M6 will be offered with 15.7 inches brakes up front and 15.6 inches at the rear. The M6 will be the first M models to offer optional carbon fiber brakes.
The M Drive system can adjust six performance parameters: engine management, the response of the Servotronic steering system, the M DCT shift program, the DSC mode, the responses of DDC, and the information in the Head-Up Display. The desired settings can be configured in any combination via the iDrive menu or by using the M Drive select buttons on the center console.
The new M6 models replace the first-generation M6 versions, which debuted for the 2007 model year. BMW said the new V8 engine in the new M6 produces 10 percent higher output than the V10 engine of the previous M6 and torque is up by 30 percent. At the same time, real world fuel consumption and CO2 are expected to be reduced by 30 percent.
BMW said the M6 Convertible will be launched as a 2012 model while the M6 Coupe debuts later this summer as a 2013 model.