BMW launched the M version of the 6-series in the UK – the BMW M6, powered by the same venerable 5 litre V10 engine found in the ultimate luxury sports sedan – the BMW M5. More details are available after the jump.
The BMW M6’s 5 litre 90 degree V10 engine won 4 out of 12 categories in the 2005 International Engine of the Year awards, in the “Best New Engine”, “Best Performance Engine”, and “Best Engine Above 4.0 Liter” categories, as well as bagging the overall Engine of the Year award.
Some basic engine statistics. The M6 engine makes 507 horsepower at 7750rpm and 520Nm of torque at 6100rpm. The redline is at 8250RPM. The top speed is electronically limited to 155mph (250 km/h), though with a bypass it could easily go beyond 200mph (320 km/h).
This advanced engine employs more than 1000 individual components, all working together to produce maximum power out of a production engine meant to last (unlike an F1 engine’s short lifespan) and they are all controlled by 3 32-bit microprocessors that can process 200 million calculatons per second. BTW, each of the 10 cylinders in the V10 block has it’s own throttle butterfly. 10 throttles baby… the sound at high revs would be orgasmic. These electronic throttles read the throttle position 200 times a second.
The engine is mated to the same 7-speed SMG gearbox in the M5. The engine weighs only 240kg. This light weight helps balance weight distribution between the front and back of the car closer to a 50-50 ratio.
One thing the M6 has an edge of over the M5 is a carbon fibre roof. Previously a carbon fibre roof was only available on the BMW M3 CSL, which only had a limited production run, unlike the mass-produced M6. Front and rear bumper supports are also carbon fibre.
What about handling? The car has Electronic Damper Control – allowing infinitely variable shock absorber behaviour in normal mode, and two fixed Comfort and Sport modes.
The M6 also has the Sensotronic power steering, which automatically adjusts sensitivity according to vehicle speed and also the way the driver turns the steering. I heard this needs a little getting used to. It’s kind of like the Mouse Acceleration feature in Windows.
The M6 has 19″ M Light alloy wheels wrapped with 255/40/ZR19 at the front and 285/35/ZR 19 at the rear. The front wheels are 8.5 inches wide and the back wheels are 9 inches wide.
At the front the brake discs are 374mm x 36mm while at the rear you have 370mm x 24mm units. 100km/h to 0km/h is achievable in 36 meters. Calipers are light-weight two-piston units.
Interior touches – the M6 has a projected HUD display showing some information like gear position, projected so it appears at the end of the bonnet. Funky stuff.
BMW has made 400 cars available so far for the UK, and the waiting list has already fully booked all units. The M6 has a 45kg weight reduction over the BMW M5, so that attributes to it being 0.1 seconds faster than the M5 in the 0-100km/h sprint – 4.6 seconds instead of 4.7 seconds.