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Geneva show: BMW's faster blaster

Twin power: BMW's M6 Convertible will go on public show in April, one month after the M6 Coupe.

BMW’s M6 revealed in duplicate ahead of Geneva and New York shows

12 Feb 2012

HARD on the heels of the Australian launch of the hot-shot M5 sedan last week, BMW has revealed the next two installments in its mid-sized M story – the M6 Coupe and Convertible – in images and mechanical details released in Munich.

The twins become BMW’s fastest-ever two-door cars, with the coupe capable of laying down a 0-100km/h time of just 4.2 seconds – one tenth of a second quicker than the M5 and well ahead of the M3 coupe’s 4.8 seconds.

As expected, the M6 Coupe will go public at next month’s Geneva motor show, while the Convertible will be saved up for the next big North American show, in New York, in April.

Both cars are due in Australian showrooms in the third quarter of this year, where they will join current 6 Series offerings, the TwinPower turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder 640i Convertible and V8 4.4-litre 650i Convertible, that both reached our shores last year.

Powered by the same hard-revving TwinPower twin-turbo-charged 4.4-litre V8 as the $230,000 M5, the new M6 twins boast 412kW of power at 6000rpm and 680Nm of torque at 1500-5750rpm – 10 per cent and 30 per cent higher respectively than previous models.

The M6 Coupe – with a superlight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof – is a tad faster than the M5 sedan in the dash from zero to 100km/h, at 4.2 seconds, while the Convertible can match the sedan version, at 4.3 seconds.

14 center imageBoth cars are electronically restricted to a top speed of 250km/h, although the optional M Driver’s Package can make that go away, taking the top speed for both cars to 305km/h.

The Convertible continues with the light folding soft-top of the standard 6 Series Convertible, eschewing the folding metal hardtops of other convertibles in the interest of driving performance.

The M version of the Convertible tips the scales at almost two tonnes – 1980kg – 130kg more than the 1850kg Coupe and 40kg heavier than the 650i, despite the extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminium and composites in the bonnet, doors, boot lid and roof compartment cover.

Nevertheless, fuel consumption has been slashed by 30 per cent over predecessors, to 10.3 litres per 100km for the Convertible and 9.9L/100km for the Coupe, with CO2 emissions claimed to be 239 grams per kilometre (Convertible) and 232g/km (Coupe).

These figures are helped by the addition of idle-stop fuel-saving technology, along with BMW’s new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, direct from the M5, driving the rear wheels.

Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 20-inch alternatives on the options list, along with ceramic brake discs.

Wider wheels contribute to a 30mm gain in track width, giving the M models a suitable muscular, hunkered-down look.

Traction is optimised by BMW’s Active M Differential, including in situations such as accelerating out of corners and making lane changes.

BMW M Division’s dynamic damper control is also standard, along with the M version of Servotronic steering.

Both M6 models get BMW’s trademark circular headlights, but this time with a line LED daytime driving lights across the top.

The M6 range will be joined in Australia by the first 6 Series sedan – the Gran Coupe – in the third quarter of 2012.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe – revealed in its production form late last year – was first shown as a concept at the Beijing motor show in 2010.

Last year, BMW shifted 74 of the luxury 6 Series cars in Australia, up more than 80 per cent on the previous year.

This year has started with a bang, with 22 640i/650i soft-tops finding new homes in January.

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