Body, Design, Equipment: Light and Safe, Sporting and Luxurious
The body of the BMW 6 Series offers all the qualities and features required
for the M6: The body dimensions are perfectly suited for accommodating the ten-cylinder and all its ancillaries, without requiring any major modifi-cations. Likewise, the innovative body structure with its efficient combination of steel, aluminum and plastics offers everything required to match the en-hanced power and performance of the BMW M6. So that in a nutshell, the term “intelligent lightweight construction” is most appropriate in this context.
Lean and clean: Optimum blend of materials
“Intelligent lightweight construction” means using the right material at the
right place. On the BMW 6 Series and in the M6 in particular, the weight-reduced front section of the car cuts back overall weight by approximately 45 kg or 99 lb versus a conventional steel structure at the front. The spring supports resting in the front axle and dampers are made of a pressure-cast aluminum alloy, just as the doors and hood are made of aluminum. The front fenders, in turn, are thermoplastic; the rear lid is made of a sheet molding compound. And last but not least, tailored rolled blanks also help to save weight by gearing the metal plates and pa-nels used precisely to specific requirements at each point.
Despite the very good starting point already provided by the “basic” 6 Se-ries, the objective in developing the M6 was to shed all further weight not absolutely essential in the interest of supreme agility and handling. But this was not to detract from the car’s comfort, roominess, and everyday motoring qualities.
Losing weight gram-by-gram for sharper agility
Following this philosophy, the engineers at BMW M were able to re-duce the weight of the M6 by a few more kilos. The improvement of axle load distribution and the car’s centre of gravity achieved this way significantly enhance the agility of the M6 on the road. Dry weight is limited to a mere 1,785 kilos or 3,936 lb (ECE). But when it comes to active and passive safe-ty, the M6 naturally retains all the qualities of the “basic” 6 Series without any restrictions.
Roof made of carbon-fiber, the No 1 material in Formula1
The engineers at BMW M have saved more than 4.5 kilos on the M6 by giving this new Sports Coupe the same kind of roof as on BMW’s already legendary M3 CSL, a purist driving machine successfully setting standards in lightweight technology. Like the M3 CSL, the M6 comes with a roof made of carbon-fiber, a high-tech material carried over from Formula1.
Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP), to use the full term, has a density of approximately 1.5 kg per cubic decimeter, as opposed to 2.7 kilos per cubic decimeter in the case of aluminum.
By comparison, conventional steel is four times heavier than carbon-fiber, weighing approximately 7.8 kilos per cubic decimeter. Every kilo saved especially on the roof has a very positive effect on the car’s driving dynamics. With the weight of the roof being reduced by 50 per cent versus a conventional steel structure right at the “top” where it really counts, the car’s centre of gravity is lowered accord-ingly. The benefit for the customer is higher speed in bends and further re-duc-tion of body dive and roll.
Innovative production technologies also in series production
To provide a particularly attractive eye-catcher demonstrating the close
con-nection between BMW’s large coupe and motorsport, the use of carbon on the roof of the M6 is clearly visible from outside. A further advantage provided by the carbon roof is the ability to use a par-tic-ularly light and thin rear window. And unlike the “regular” 6 Series, the roof as a whole is not welded, but rather bonded, on to the body of the car, while still retaining full body stiffness and safety, with the same noise and tempe-rature management as on the 6 Series as such.
BMW builds the carbon-fiber roof in-house, lightweight construction experts at the Landshut Plant making the roof out of several layers of this precious material initially pre-formed in dry state, then soaked in resin in a resin transfer molding (RTM) process, and finally treated with a layer of clear topcoat. Contrary to theM3 CSL built only in very small numbers, the CFP roof on the BMW M6 marks the first use of this technology in series production.
Less weight at the ends for enhanced agility and handling
The bumper supports front and rear are also made of CFP in a unique
pro-cess developed by BMW and applied at the Landshut Plant. In this process unparalleled the world over, strips of CFP are woven layer-by-layer around a core, cast into resin and hardened before the core material is subsequently removed. This provides an extremely light but highly stable hollow-profile support which, in its function and effect, is quite comparable to a convention-al support made of steel or aluminum. The weight saving of 20 percent at the front and 40 percent at the rear where such a reduction in weight really counts significantly enhances the car’s agility and handling, providing higher speeds above all in bends.
Kilos per horsepower – the formula for the performance athlete
All the efforts made to save weight are ultimately confirmed by a good power-to-weight ratio stating what mass (weight) the engine is ultimately re-quired to accelerate. While the mass of a car can be matched in terms of longitudinal dynamics (acceleration and deceleration) by adding extra power and using even more efficient brakes, a reduction of the car’s overall mass improves both longitudinal and lateral acceleration at the same time. In prac-tical terms, therefore, a lighter car is faster in a straight line, achieves higher speeds in bends, and requires shorter stopping distances. Hence, the power-to-weight ratio of a car says much more about its driving dynamics than just the power or torque rating.
The BMW M5 Sports Sedan boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 3.5 kg:bhp, making it the benchmark in its class. Now, benefiting from its design and consistent lightweight technology, the M6 Coupe is another 45 kilos or 99 lb lighter than the M5. Featuring the same engine, therefore, BMW’s Sports Coupe comes with a sensational power-to-weight ratio of only 3.3 kg:bhp. This makes the BMW M6 one of the absolute leaders in the high-performance sports car market.
Efficient cooling – a particular challenge
The supply and extraction of cooling air is a particular challenge in motoring, above all with a car of this caliber. This is why the BMW M6 comes with an all-new cooling and air supply package featuring a high-performance fan, engine radiator, a/c capacitor, power steering fluid cooler and engine oil cooler all positioned directly behind the car’s front air dam. For reasons of the car’s package, in turn, the engine oil cooler is fitted at an angle in front of the radiator and the radiator itself is split up into two sections.
The large air openings in the front air dam for cooling and intake air are
par-ticular eye-catchers. The side openings to the left and right of the
large cen-tral air scoop, in turn, ensure efficient intake of secondary air flowing to the engine of the BMW M6.
The exterior – proud understatement all the way
The BMW 6 Series also sets the standard in the segment of luxury coupes,
its successful synthesis of high-performance ethnology and elegant, power-ful looks thrilling customers the world over.
Given qualities of this kind, it was obvious from the start that the technical modifications and improvements introduced on the M6 were not to significantly change the looks of the car. The designers and development special-ists at BMW M therefore faced the task to give the M6 a truly unique look, while at the same time retaining the beautiful appearance of the BMW 6 Series. This is why the changes in design are relatively discreet but nevertheless consistent, clearly underlining the self-confident character of the car. Wherever the BMW M6 makes its appearance, it represents the status of a very dynamic and powerful-high-performance coupe without bragging or flaunting its muscle. In other words, this is the perfect rendition of performance, design and driving pleasure so typical of BMW’s M Philo-sophy.
Muscular, dynamic, elegant
Extending down close to the road, the front air dam is powerful in its design and comes with large air intakes feeding air to the high-speed engine. Flaps on the front air dam serve to reduce lift forces on the front axle, the minimization of lift forces thus guaranteeing superior driving stability even at high speeds.
Powerful proportions also from the side
Very low and muscular in their appearance, the side-sills are more aggres-sively contoured than on the “basic” 6 Series. Through their interplay of light and shade, they accentuate the length of the car and generate a very dynamic impression.
Again, this modification serves both optical and, in particular, technical purposes. The side-sills optimize the flow of air along the underfloor and improve the car’s aerodynamic qualities. The underfloor itself, finally, has also been optimized for perfect aerodynamics through the addition of appropriate panels.
Like every M Car, the BMW M6 comes with exclusive wheels: In this case these are19-inch forged aluminum wheels with five almost delicate
double-spokes providing a clear view of the brake discs and swing calipers on the brakes.
Ensuring an extremely sporting touch, this design gives the silhouette of the BMW M6 a very light and nimble appearance. And the word “light” is indeed appropriate, with the wheels weighing 1.8 kg or 4.0 lb less than comparable, light-alloy wheels. Tire dimensions, finally, are 255/40 ZR 19 at the front and 285/35 ZR 19 at the rear.
Superior aerodynamics to the last detail
The BMW M logo in the ornamental slats at the side with the integrated
di-rection indicator clearly bears testimony to the car’s sophisticated origin.
And the M6 also differs from the “standard” 6 Series through its exterior mirrors accentuating the sporting looks of the car through their striking de-sign and interaction of light. Here again, the rule applied is that form follows function. The design of the exterior mirrors developed in the wind tunnel serves to reduce lift forces on the front axle.
The rear diffuser on the rear air dam as well as flaps to the left and right of
the diffuser accentuate the particularly powerful and dynamic look of the car.
The rear light units in the bumper are slightly higher up than in the regular model, the numberplate is integrated in the rear air dam. The most signi-fi-cant eye-catcher at the rear, however, is of course the four round tailpipes so typical of all BMW M Models.
The rear diffuser fulfils a fundamental function in the guidance of air along the underside. Improving flow conditions in conjunction with the spoiler dis-creetly integrated in the luggage compartment lid and the smooth underfloor, the diffuser helps to give the car a very good drag coefficient with a further reduction of lift forces. And at the same time the diffuser improves the extraction of cooling air from the final drive.
Battery in the luggage compartment
Housed in the luggage compartment, the AGM battery helps to give the
M6 its good front-to-rear weight balance. The special advantages of this kind of battery lie in its charging behavior, with a charge cycle three times
higher than with a conventional battery in the interest of a longer service life.
The 70-litre (16.3 Imp gal) fuel tank made of a special plastic material is fit-ted in front of the rear axle, the double- and suction-jet pump controlled on-demand as a function of pressure ensuring a reliable supply of fuel also un-der powerful longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
Indianapolis Red exclusive to the M6.
The paintwork of every new BMW Model is naturally a great tradition upheld by BMW M GmbH. The BMW M6 will come with the most sporting and dynamic paintwork color conceivable: Indianapolis Red. Other colors are Seeping Bronze, Interlagos Blue, and Silverstone II M metallic, as well as two further options from the BMW 6 Series color range. Added to this, there is also Alpine White non-metallic paintwork. The M6 logo is to be admired on the ornamental slats in the side panels, on the rear lid, and on the illuminated door strips.
Interior: combining the character of a sports car with
a touch of noblesse
The BMW M6 is a thoroughbred sports car. But offering a superior level
of equipment, it also comes with the noblesse you would expect of such an ex-clusive coupe. This ranges from ample space in such a 2+2-seater
all the way to active and passive safety features on the high level of the
BMW 6 Series.
A total of six airbags fitted as standard, highly efficient belt systems, BMW’s intelligent Advanced Safety Electronics (ASE) as well as an automatic or manual emergency call function via BMW Assist are all available just in case.
In all, this system offers the occupants of the BMW M6 truly outstanding safety in a collision. And the new model does not even make any compromises when it comes to luggage capacity, with its luggage compartment offering a volume of 450 liters.
Dynamic Harmony combined with a touch of sportiness
The philosophy of BMW M within the interior is that of “Dynamic Harmony”. “Dynamism” applies to the tension and motion of individual surfaces and lines. “Harmony” stands for the way in which the surfaces and lines enhance and relate to each other. In the M6 this Dynamic Harmony is further enrich-ed by a touch of the sportiness appreciated so much by BMW aficionados. This sporting look is based on the careful choice of exclusive materials and their dynamic design.
The BMW M6 comes standard with an extended range of leather in ex-clusive Merino quality available in Black, Silverstone, and Seeping. This leather upholstery comprises the seats, the centre console and handbrake lever handle as well as the door panels, armrests and door handles. At the rear the side panels are also finished in leather.
As an option the M6 is available with an even wider range of full Merino leath-er upholstery in no less than five colors (Indianapolis Red and Port-land Natural Brown over and above the colors already mentioned). Partic-ular highlights in this case are full leather upholstery on the dashboard in soft nappa (also on the door and rear side panels) as well as the headliner in Alcantara Anthracite.
Within the range of trim strips and panels, the connoisseur has the choice
of optional Pianopaint Black as well as Madeira and Carrara wood trim.
Again reflecting the typical style and character of BMW, the cockpit is clearly oriented to the driver: All functions important to the driver are positioned ergonomically on or around the steering wheel. Nearly all functions also relevant to the front passenger, in turn, are concentrated around the centre console.
The centre console also houses the Controller within a special binnacle
de-signed specifically for the M6, serving to activate and mastermind nearly all comfort functions via the Control Display. This special Controller differs in both its looks and surface touch from the Controller in the BMW 6 Series.
Perfect seats for sports motoring
Both the driver and front passenger enjoy perfect seating in the BMW M6. The standard body-contoured M sports seats ensure optimum body support particularly under dynamic driving conditions, adjust-ing electrically for length, height, and seat bottom and backrest angle. Headrest height and angle, in turn, are adjustable manually.
An electrically operated lumbar support is included in the seats. With its
in-finitely variable system of air chambers, this support helps the passengers find their perfect seating position in orthopedic terms, supporting their back muscles and taking the load off their backbone.
A special development for the BMW M6 is adjustable backrest width
incor-po-rating pneumatic adjustment features. Another standard highlight is three-stage seat heating quickly warming up the body surface on the seat bottom and backrest as well as the side supports.
A fully-fledged 2+2-coupe
The passengers riding on the rear seats of the M6 also enjoy a first-class
ex-perience for a coupe, particularly in comparison with the usual sports
car standard. Even adults find sufficient space here for shorter distances. The two deeply contoured leather seats separated in the middle by a seat cush-ion, together with the contoured backrests, ensure good side support. And thanks to BMW’s convenient Comfort Access, both rear seats can be reach-ed easily and without twisting your body on either side.
Another practical highlight of the M6 is the large luggage compartment
of-fering 450 liter capacity – enough for a complete set of one large, one medium and one small hard-shell suitcase or a large suitcase and two
46-inch golf bags. The ski-bag in the middle section of the rear seat backrest, in turn, enables the wintersport enthusiast to take along two pairs of skis or a snowboard. Additional storage compartments in the doors, nets on the seats and further storage options within the M6 ultimately round off this wide range of versatile and highly practical storage amenities.
Cockpit complete with formula flair
Both the speedometer and rev counter come in chrome surrounds on the dashboard. In their design, the instrument faces in black and with white numbers, together with the needles in traditional BMW M Red, provide a clear sign of distinction. The white Corona lights are switched on perma-nently.
A unique feature is the engine speed band presented in the rev counter.
The yellow pre-warning field and the red warning field limits the permissible range of engine speed as a function of the current engine oil temperature.
The telltales, oil level indicator, mileage counters as well as the SMG display together with the gear and Drivelogic display come between the speedom-eter and rev counter.
For the first time the engineers at BMW M GmbH have succeeded in
ensuring very precise oil level indication by means of a new display instrument fea-turing an electronic control unit replacing the conventional oil dipstick. Whenever necessary, the driver is requested by an acoustic and optical signal to add engine oil.
Head-Up Display presenting specific M information
The optional Head-Up Display (HUD) presents important driving information directly in the driver’s line of vision. With its special configuration, HUD
al-lows the driver himself at the touch of a button to choose either the standard display or specific M information.
The M-specific display highlights the dynamic engine speed band, which,
with its Shift-Light function, tells the driver when he has reached the opti-mum point for shifting gears. This function is carried over from Formula1 and is supplemented by a clear indication of the gear currently engaged as the well as the car’s road speed.
The M leather steering wheel rests pleasantly in the driver’s hands,
redesigned and relocated SMG paddles enabling the driver to shift gears at the touch of a finger. The big advantage is that the driver’s hands remain on the steer-ing wheel in the interest of traffic safety particularly at high speeds and on winding roads.
MDrive for even greater motoring comfort
The MDrive function is activated by the MDrive button in the steering wheel. Using this function the driver is able, at the touch of a finger, to turn this relatively comfortable coupe into a thoroughbred sports car and vice versa.
All that is required is to call up the dynamic driving settings previously configured in the MDrive menu of the iDrive system. These pre-settings can be stored in the Key Memory for added convenience.
MDrive allows the user to pre-select or activate the following functions:
– The Power button serving to control engine characteristics – that is engine output and response – in three stages.
– SMG Drivelogic for selecting one of the six sequential or five automatic gearshift programs – here again, the driver benefits from direct activation of the driving/gearshift program required in each case.
– Dynamic Stability Control with its two dynamic driving programs.
– Electronic Damper Control with the programs Comfort, Normal, and Sports.
– And last but not least, the HUD Head-Up Display.
SMG selector lever with illuminated lever position indicator
The searchlights and position indicator in the selector lever are activated as soon as the driver switches on the ignition. Next to the SMG selector
lever there are four push buttons for direct control of the Power, DSC, EDC and Drivelogic dynamic driving functions.
With just a few exceptions, the customer opting for the BMW M6 has the
full choice of all equipment and customization features already available on
the BMW 6 Series. In particular, these are BMW’s Adaptive Headlights
with the headlight beams following the road ahead as if by magic through an auto-mat-ic control func-tion as well as BMW Cruise Control.
Last but certainly not least, Automatic Climate Control with Automatic Air Recirculation which adjusts to the desired temperature set by the driver and passenger and then consistently maintains this temperature at the de-sired level sets the standard also in the M6. This system comes complete with various comfort functions such as an integrated solar sensor, an anti-mist sensor, as well as external air supply and air recirculation filters.