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The Rebirth of an Icon: BMW M6

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Story by Michael Ho

It’s been 15 years since the BMW M6 last graced the exotic automotive world. The new BMW M6 is on its way, two years after the introduction of the 645Ci. Sharing the same engines as its sedan brother (M5), the new M6 is fitted with a 5-litre, high-rev 10-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, providing an impressive acceleration up to 250 km/h (electronically limited) and maximum engine speed of up to 8,250 rpm. 500 bhp propels the BMW M6 from zero to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, and 200 km/h in

less than 14 seconds. BMW’s variable dual-Vanos camshaft control provides extremely fast valve timing, which on the road results in better performance, an improved torque curve, optimum responsiveness, lower fuel consumption and emissions reduced to a minimum. The 7-speed SMG transmission conveys M Power to the road. This standard 7-speed sequential gearbox with Drivelogic and Launch Control is designed for unequalled sports performance and impressive comfort.

And at the same time, the additional gear keeps the increment between engine speed and torque even smaller, ensuring an absolutely smooth process of one gear “flowing” into the other, accelerating the BMW virtually without the slightest jolt or interruption from a standstill all the way to top speed. Paddles on the steering wheel and the illuminated gear lever located in the centre console allow you to shift through all seven gears effortlessly.

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To proudly set a new standard in the segment of high performance 2+2 seater luxury sports cars, the engineers at the Motorsport Division of the Bavarian automaker focused not only on the sheer power of the engine, but also on the weight of the body. “Intelligent lightweight construction” means using the right material at the right place. Spring supports resting in the front axle and dampers are both made of a pressure-case aluminum alloy, as are the doors and front lid. Furthermore, the M6 comes with a carbon fibre-

reinforced plastic (CFP), a high-tech material carried over from Formula 1. The advantage of a carbon roof is that it enables the use of a particularly light and thin rear window. In addition, the bumper supports front and rear are also made of CFP in a unique process developed by BMW.

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The BMW M6 stands at a mere 1,710 kilos, with a well-tuned power to-weight ratio which enhances the car’s agility and handling, providing higher speeds above all in bends. The M Dynamic Mode (MDM) sets a new standard in driving dynamics, offering the sports-minded and ambitious driver a revolutionary improvement in dynamic performance. Pressing the M Drive button in the steering wheel enables the driver to capitalize the car’s longitudinal and lateral acceleration. DSC intervenes only when the car is driven to the absolute extreme, thus allowing the driver to countersteer moderately while power-sliding through a bend at a controllable angle.

A word of caution: use of this M Dynamic Mode should only be on a race-track closed to public traffic. The M6 laterally supportive seats are wrapped all around with Merino leather, the bolsters of which are power-adjustable. A long list of highlevel standard equipment includes a thick, red-and-blue-stitched, M leather-wrapped steering wheel, twin hood dash layouts, the central one for the iDrive/navigation system, Logic 7 13-speaker sound system with subwoofers, six-disc CD changer, park distance control and BMW assist with telephone preparation, including Bluetooth functionality.

As well, there’s a head-up display with digital speed and current gear indicator, handy for keeping eyes on the road. The body design of the BMW M6 has been discreetly modified in keeping with the elegant look of the BMW 6 Series Coupe. The larger air openings in the front air dam for cooling and intake air are particularly eye catching. The side openings to the left and right of the large control air scoop, in turn, ensure efficient intake of secondary airflow to the engine.

The BMW M6 comes with 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with double-five spokes providing a clear view of the brake discs (374mm crossdrilled and vented up and 370mm crossdrilled and vented at the rear) and swing callipers on the brakes. Tire dimensions are 255/40 ZR 19 at the front and 285/35 ZR 19 at the rear. The rear diffusers fulfill a fundamental function in the guidance of air along the underfloor. The spoiler, discreetly integrated in the luggage compartment, and the smooth underfloor further enhance drag coefficient and lift forces.

The most significant detail at the rear is, of course, the four round chrome tailpipes typical of all BMW M models. The BMW M6 comes with the most sporting and dynamic paintwork colour conceivable: Indianapolis Red. Other excellent selections are: Black Sapphire, Silver Grey, Silverstone, Interlagos Blue, Sepang Bronze and Alpine White. Furthermore, BMW is pleased to announce the availability of the BMW Individual Collection for the M6. Choices such as Azurite Black metallic, Blue Onyx metallic, Malachite Green metallic, Moonstone metallic and Ruby Black metallic can be ordered with the new production.

Hot on the heels of the new M5, and taking lightweight design solution from the M3 CSL, the new M6 combines Supercar presence and Grand Touring potential. Joining an exclusive club, this new M car of the decade sets a new performance benchmark for a production car. The beauty of the M6 is also its ability to comfortably crush kilometres on a cross-country cruise.

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