Pencilled in to reach the South African market by late next year, the 373 kW BMW M6 is a 6 Series like no other… but is it a true sports car or just a tastefully beefed-up grand tourer?

Pencilled in to reach the South African market by late next year, the 373 kW BMW M6 is a 6 Series like no other… but is it a true sports car or just a tastefully beefed-up grand tourer?


Whereas the now-discontinued 8 Series coupés were never regarded as sporty (the versions on the South African market, at any rate), the M6 has the credentials to usurp the M5’s title of being the Munich-based firm’s ultimate sports car… BMW’s says that the M6 is lighter (has a better power-to-weight ratio) and has a shorter wheelbase and lower centre of gravity than its sibling.


Compared with a garden-variety 6 Series, the M6’s chassis and suspension have been uprated. It retains the interior dimensions and creature comforts of BMW’s other Sixes, but the M6’s body has been only discreetly beefed up (deeper front spoiler with enlarged air ducts for added cooling, 19-inch forged aluminium wheels with five filigree double spokes, brawny rear air dam with its characteristic diffuser opening and two pairs of sonic boom-producing M Power double exhaust tips, for example).


But the heart of the Munich musclecar is an variable dual-VANOS camshaft control-equipped, F1-inspired multivalve five-litre V10 that produces 75 kW per litre, 520 N.m of maximum torque and revs up to 8 250 r/min. BMW claims the M6 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4,6 seconds and 0-200 km/h in 14 seconds. Top speed is restricted to 250 km/h.


The Munich-based company claims the M5 and M6’s gearboxes are the world's only sequential transmissions with seven gears and Drivelogic. The driver shifts gears in the SMG transmission either from the selector lever or via paddles in the steering wheel. Compared with conventional SMG transmission, the new generation of SMG technology performs the entire gearshift process 20 per cent faster than its predecessor, it is claimed.


The Drivelogic function offers the driver a total of 11 gearshift options. Six of the driving programs come in the sequential manual function (S-mode). Driving in S-mode, the driver shifts all gears manually. But due to the launch control function, Drivelogic optimises shifts by gearing up or down automatically before the engine reaches its maximum speed. In the automatic shift mode (Drive = D-mode), the transmission shifts the seven gears automatically as a function of the driving program currently in use, the driving situation, road speed, and loud pedal position.


In addition, the M6’s speed-sensing M Differential Lock gives the car better driving stability and optimum traction particularly when accelerating out of a bend. The differential is said to offer crucial advantages in terms of traction, for example “with the drive wheels running on very different surfaces with a wide range of different frictional coefficients”, BMW claims.



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