Ladies and Germs, feast your peepers on the new PH test fleet BMW M6. In Black Sapphire Metallic, with Indianapolis Red Full Merino Leather and the Competition package. Ain't she a beauty?
Newcomer boasts V10 and 500+ hp
If you've not spotted it already in the forums, you may have missed the news that we've replaced the much-lauded Jaguar XFR saloon on our long-term test fleet with BMW's performance flagship. Not that you'd miss the new addition to our fleet in the car park, as the glossy black M6 is hardly the height of understatement. Mind you, considering that beneath the hood lurks a 5.0-litre, 507hp, V10-powered monster of an engine that would, were it not for the restraining influence of the relevant ECU, be good for a mind-blowing 205mph maximum speed, you'll appreciate that's just the way we like it.
Mega performance with a GT flavour
Even so, some may see the M6 as an interesting choice, given that the 6-series coupe on which our car is based was launched back in 2004. Indeed, the series replacement is already clocking up development mileage at the Nurburgring prior to an expected launch date in 2011, although crucially the word on the street is that our V10-powered M version could be the last of its kind.
So while there are newer and possibly more relevant machines in the BMW portfolio that we could be reporting on, to be honest we just thought 'what the hell'. Big V10 powered super-coupes like this don't come along like buses, and with the faintest whiff of dinosaur already hanging round the M6 in these increasingly 'enlightened' times, we wanted to be the ones riding the last Tyrannosaurus Rex out of town.
There are 40 valves lurking under there
Don't get us wrong, we don't think BMW is giving up on outrageous performance any time soon - far from it. It's just going to be a little different in future, with smaller engine capacities and more technology replacing some of the old-style muscle with 21st century 'efficient dynamics'. In fact our M6 already sports that particular moniker on its rear window, but with fuel economy currently averaging around the 16mpg mark we suspect the car was stickered in a moment of ironic humour.
But we're not going to harp on about the mpg either, although the similarly-V10 powered Audi R8 Spyder we tested recently was good for 20mpg-plus when driven spiritedly. (Interestingly the Spyder weighs in at a chunky 1720kgs, surprisingly close to the M6's 1785kgs, and as a six-speeder has one less gear ratio than the Bimmer.)
£95k gets you a lot of toys
Nope, we're just going to praise the Lord that our M6 doesn't demand posh petrol, and close our eyes as we keep sloshing unleaded into the 70 litre tank. Frankly, once you've swiped the credit card, it only takes a single prod of the starter button to stir that delicious V10 into life and make all the pain go away.
Anyway, only an idiot (ahem!) would choose to run a car like this without a high-powered job and the salary to support it. The £87,335 price-tag is a pretty high bar to entry, of course, and the PH M6 costs a scary £95k thanks to our choice of full leather interior (£5,250), soft-close doors (£290) and the Competition package (£2180, including lowered ride height, gorgeous 19ins alloys with Pirelli P Zero Corsa's, tweaked ECUs and a more aggressive bonnet design).
Feeling 'smiley'? Yes indeedy!
But hey you can't take it with you, especially if you never had it in the first place, so we've all got every reason not to worry about the cost of ownership. More importantly, we've nearly put enough miles on the car to start thinking about deploying the launch control - and yes, of course we're going to tell you what it's like...
BMW M6 (Competition package) Specs
90° V10 engine with four-valve technology
Capacity (cc) 4999
Stroke/Bore (mm) 75.2/92
Max output (kW/hp/rpm) 373/507/7750
Max torque (Nm/rpm) 520/6100
Launch control - lock 'n' load...
Seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) with DRIVELOGIC
Weight unladen (EU) 1785kgs
Drag (cD) 0.32
Top speed (mph) 155 (electronically limited)
Accel. 0-62 mph (sec) 4.6
Accel. 50-75 mph in 4th (sec) 4.4
Urban (mpg) 13.2
Extra-urban (mpg) 27.7
Combined (mpg) 19.8
Shiny 19ins alloys and sticky rubber
Tyre size front 255/40 ZR19
Tyre size rear 285/35 ZR19
Wheel size front 8.5Jx19
Wheel size rear 9.5Jx19
Full specs and equipment here