PH BLOG: BMW M6 AND THE ART OF NOISE
A roofless M6 ... all the better to enjoy some epic V8 noise, right? Wrong.
the importance of this before and PH opinion on the fact BMW has resorted to digitally enhancing the noise on both the M5 and M6 has been pretty unequivocal. The outcry has been immense but you know the worst thing? Even with this trickery it still fails to excite.
I spent most of my time on the M6 launch in the coupe, figuring this was the more manly and PH of the two. But, diligent as ever, I did take the Convertible out too and, in fairness, it's a pretty impressive piece of kit with none of the wobble you might expect of a roofless four-seater. As you might hope, given that the reinforcement required tips it over the two-tonne barrier.
We'll talk about that another time but at least, I thought, without a roof I'll be able to get an honest impression of what that undeniably mighty M twin-turbo V8 really sounds like, rather than rely on some synthesised version playing through the speakers.
And that's a real problem. If you're paying a £30K premium over the 640d - a car that'll do 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds but also achieve 50mpg - you at least want it to sound like an M car. Instead the M6, bar the odd little upshift parp, sounds like an overboosted, downsized four-cylinder. I knew the answer but I even had to check with the engineers - was it a flat-plane crank? Nope. The guys at AMG must be feeling particularly smug too, having managed to make their equivalent 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 sound nearly as epic as the normally aspirated 6.2 it's steadily replacing.
It's an issue affecting BMWs of all shapes and sizes - the diesels sound and behave more like petrols while the petrols do the opposite. Fine, the M6 delivers its peak torque at 1,500rpm. But so does the 640d, and with 465lb ft it's only 35lb ft down and, coupe for coupe, weighs 135kg less!