RE: BMW M6: PH Carpool

Monday 18th December 2017

BMW M6: PH Carpool

This PHer explains why you need to give the E63 M6 time to thoroughly enjoy it



Name: The Commander
Car: BMW M6 (E63)
Owned since: May 2016
Previously owned: Lotus Elise 111S, VW Golf GTI Mk2(s), various family cars

Why I bought it:
"I previously owned an Elise which I frustratingly wrote off after only about 10 months of ownership (see previous PH posts on the Elise forum). Whilst I loved its pared-to-the-bone appeal, I also hankered after a big GT car. I love quality engineering and after reading a YKYWT on the M6, I started to research them. The more I read, the more they appealed to me - it is way more than just a two-door 5 Series with a big engine. An early easy decision was not to buy a convertible version - they are a whopping 200kg heavier than the standard coupe."


What I'd wish I'd known:
"Not a lot really. You've got to do your research thoroughly and know what you are letting yourself in for. The advice that kept on coming through was to buy on mechanical condition rather than mileage or colour. Ironically, these M engines don't like lack of use so you don't' really want too low a mileage car. Luckily I found one with a fastidious owner - the engine bay looked almost brand new and there was a detailed service history with receipts."

Things I love:
"Driving this car is a bit of an event. To be honest the SMG gearbox takes some getting used to, but being an F1 fan I do get childish (my wife uses more cutting words) pleasure from being able to make all the adjustments. The gearbox does make the odd slightly worrying clonk every now and again but perversely I find it gives the car personality - you have to learn how to drive it well. I love the fact the car has two characters - drive it normally and it is a very comfy and stylish big limo but push it and it becomes a bit of a beast, with an engine that sounds like a turbine. Quite frankly, even though it is a decade old, there is very little on UK roads that will outpace it even now - from third gear and mid-range revs onwards, it absolutely flies. I like the fact that BMW did a lot of quite serious re-engineering to keep the weight down, using a lot of composites in key areas. Two more things - the head-up display is excellent, a genuine performance driving and safety bonus; the carbon roof is a real work of art, too. Finally, despite its performance and engineering I like the fact that it is a surprisingly subtle and understated car - it isn't in your face like a 911 or some of the hot AMG Mercs, but those who know their cars clock it (including traffic police!).


Things I hate:
"Genuinely, not a lot. I don't have much of a problem with any of the alleged shortcomings of the car - iDrive is slow but perfectly functional and for SMG it is a question of learning its quirks. I now drive in semi-automatic all the time which is much better and no real hardship. For a big car (the same length as my XC90) there is not much room in the rear seats, though it does have a big boot, but I didn't buy it for rear seat space. Even the handling which got some average comments when reviewed I actually find perfectly acceptable - there is masses of grip, a good traction control system and in reality I reckon very few drivers would have much of an issue with the finer handling gripes journalists noted anyway. I guess it has a touch more understeer than I would prefer, but that could be down to tyre choice as much as anything else."

Costs:
"I know these cars aren't cheap to run but, for what you get for your money, these cars are supercar bargains quite frankly. That said, when I bought it mine had pretty new tyres all round, relatively recent front discs and recently refurbished alloys. A recent MOT and standard service cost me £400 from a reputable local specialist. I know at some stage it will need a new clutch like all SMG cars but you have to go into ownership of a car like this expecting that, and research can mitigate your concerns. Fuel consumption is a bit frightening (not much more than 20mpg at best) but I don't do many miles in it so fortunately I can live with that problem."


Where I've been:
"We've recently moved up north and the big open A-roads of North Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland are ideal for an M6. It is not an easy car to hustle along B-roads so I don't bother and just use the massive acceleration and huge braking selectively. There is a pertinent American aviation phrase which is "keeping ahead of the aircraft" and that is very much the case with this car - very quickly you can be doing serious speed and the top end performance envelope is pretty marginal for most UK roads. We do plan to take it to the Continent at some stage as the car's ability to maintain a very comfortable high speed cruise - with a lot of overtaking reserve - is one of its best features, and that turbine howl when surging past traffic is very addictive."

What next:
"I know these cars are a bit Marmite but I reckon they will appreciate - look at 8 Series coupes now. I don't plan any major upgrades beyond a regular software update, and it doesn't really need anything in my view. I've thought about a specialist exhaust when the time comes but it doesn't really need it. There are very few E63 M6s in the UK (c. 350, only a tenth of E60 M5s) and I am convinced their serious engineering quality, rarity and all-round strengths will mean their appeal will grow over time - I struggle to think of an M car that hasn't become sought after eventually. What I have is effectively a German Aston Martin that is classy, comfortable, supremely quick and with serious road presence - and a supercar bargain to boot."


Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at carpool@pistonheads.com!

Author
Discussion

Iamnotkloot

Original Poster:

220 posts

83 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Lovely things - I'm a big fan of the looks too.

MrBarry123

4,929 posts

57 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Agreed with the comments above, these are really special cars to look at.

And that engine... cloud9

Tomy90

157 posts

46 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
I do really like the idea of an M6, especially having that wonderful V10 engine.

I remember as a kid being in one my father had for a day as a demonstrator (a black one) made such a good noise and went like stink.

Sadly he did not buy one (can’t remember what he went for instead of it)

Only thing that has always worried me about these is the maintenance and that gearbox (from the stories I heard).

May have to do some more research on the running costs of them.

moffat

943 posts

161 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Aes87 said:
Interiors were much better than the new ones too - simple and functional with a minimum of fuss, and with the screen integrated into the design (unlike the obtrusive new ones which are stuck on the top of the dash).

Edited by Aes87 on Monday 18th December 10:47
Not sure about that, the F13 6 series interior is one of the best ever BMW interiors. Each to their own though!

Prinny

1,002 posts

35 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
I just bought mine a month ago. Fantastic cars, and as you say, from 4k in 3rd is really rather respectable.
Also a fellow member of the V10 plate club! smile



From the recent 1-5 barge meet. It did sterling service as a shelf for the quality street!
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budgie smuggler

3,308 posts

95 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
It's weird, I never liked the looks of these, or the Z4. Yet as they've aged they've become quite desirable. Something very clean about the lines.

sdiggle

54 posts

26 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Sold my 630i earlier this year....I miss seeing it on the drive. The looks really grow on you!

DanBMW

190 posts

120 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
My Dad had one of these a few years ago, I fell in love with the noise. I loved the looks and the interior too.

The rear seats were cramped, mostly head room was an issue (less than an e90 m3) for me being 6ft+, didn't stop me sitting in the back for two hours on one journey with 4 of us in it.

I agree regarding the SMG box, when I had it on my e46 M3 I liked all the clunks and noises as I felt it gave the car some additional character. Also my childish side felt like I was driving a race car with the transmission noises laugh
There do seem to be good and bad ones though, the one in my M3 was crisp and quick (I also always drove in manual mode) and my Dad reckoned it was better than the one in his M6. Which shouldn't be the case as it was SMG II rather than SMG III.

sagarich

981 posts

85 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
I love these, fantastic sounding things! I also like the way it looks getmecoat

Leins

6,503 posts

84 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Wasn't there an issue with the roof leaking on some of these?

Tim bo

1,280 posts

76 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Huge fan of Bangle's 6. And best in M6 guise.

Bravo sir.

RDMcG

12,771 posts

143 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Had mine for five years from new. Incandescently fast and you need to get the revs up. Max torque is at about 6000 rpm as I recall.

Loved the V10 and if you learn to upshift properly on the SMG (micro lift between gears) it is quite smooth.

Brutal fuel consumption and not a track car - I ate my rear pads in a flash, but a wonderfully comfy road car.

Beautiful logjc7 sound system.

Biggest beef was the silly small 65 litre fuel tank. Needed to be a lot bigger.

D200

514 posts

83 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
I remember first time I heard one of these on the road, being passed by one full chat, the noise was epic. Has to be a future modern classic

FN2TypeR

5,765 posts

29 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
cool It's a yes from me!

However, when new, the biggest problem with the M6 was the M5 imo - perhaps I'm missing something but the M5 was a fair bit cheaper

todea20

94 posts

69 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
I've had an M6 convertible and it sounds better with the roof down!
Sadly i've sold it 1 week later after reading all the horror stories.I have no problem in replacing a clutch but replacing an engine..that's scary!
The most important thing is to get one with under 65k miles and full service history so you can add a bmw warranty!

Stuart70

1,069 posts

119 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
If you have a side profile picture with the boot lid up, the remaining profile is exactly like a 997 911.

Who stole what from whom? Or is it just my eyes?....

Prinny

1,002 posts

35 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Stuart70 said:
If you have a side profile picture with the boot lid up, the remaining profile is exactly like a 997 911.

Who stole what from whom? Or is it just my eyes?....
like this?


This is the bit you want though!

RDMcG

12,771 posts

143 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Here is mine .delimited, and absolutely flat out on the autobahn in 2006. Youu get a good sense of the engine at 7600RPM in 7th....



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTMKkPxei0I

parabolica

4,648 posts

120 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
todea20 said:
I've had an M6 convertible and it sounds better with the roof down!
Sadly i've sold it 1 week later after reading all the horror stories.I have no problem in replacing a clutch but replacing an engine..that's scary!
The most important thing is to get one with under 65k miles and full service history so you can add a bmw warranty!
So you only had it for 1 week?

Stunning cars IMO; I had a 645 and I loved the looks; agree that the interior was much simplier (i.e. much less buttons) than today's car (I now have an F13) but that doesn't necessarily make it better - I much prefer the F13's interior. Lovely sound from that V10 though.

Stuart70

1,069 posts

119 months

Monday 18th December 2017
quotequote all
Prinny said:
Stuart70 said:
If you have a side profile picture with the boot lid up, the remaining profile is exactly like a 997 911.

Who stole what from whom? Or is it just my eyes?....
like this?


This is the bit you want though!
Yes to the pictures and to the engine - although the I balk at the potential "bork" running costs vs a gen 2 997 911. Should I get over my fear and learn to love the M6?