August 24, 2012
2012 BMW M6 Cabriolet. Click image to enlarge
|First Drive: 2012 BMW 650i CabrioletManufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Mike Schlee
2012 BMW M6 Cabriolet
Last week, I was in a bit of a conundrum. With every vehicle I review, I try to relate to the typical customer of said vehicle and weigh for them the pros and cons—with various levels of success—of that vehicle. Be it a pickup truck, a hybrid, or a family crossover, I can usually think of family, friends, or coworkers who would be interested in a specific vehicle and try to put myself into their shoes. But then, against someone’s better judgment, I was given the keys to a $152,000 toy, a fair-weather asphalt annihilator that sends 560 hp to the rear wheels while coddling the passengers in top-down, leather-clad comfort. How am I going to relate to someone who not only can afford a $155K car, but also has that kind of money to spend on a summer-only, impractical vehicular sledgehammer? No matter, I’m up to the task.
The car I am referring to is the 2012 BMW M6 Cabriolet. The M6 is BMW’s all new 6 Series cabriolet cranked up to 11, maybe even 12. At the heart of this beast is BMW’s 4.4L TwinPower Turbo V8 that produces an obscene 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. For reference, the two (count ‘em, 2) twin-scroll turbos on this motor aid the M6 in making more horsepower than a Ford GT, Nissan GT-R or Porsche 911 Turbo S. Sending all this force to the rear wheels is a dual clutch seven-speed DSG gearbox.
Purist car enthusiasts rejoice: the M6 does not have BMW’s Active Sound, which sends engine noises through the speakers (as in the 2012 M5). No, this car makes real noise: drop the top and the exhaust comes to life as it pops, crackles, and barks while gear changes are made on boost. I learned how to time the turbo just right to make it growl at will; an overly addicting thrill. As great as it sounds though, it is not as menacing as the XKR or SLK 55 AMG’s old school V8 rumbles.
Even at a portly 2,045 kg, the M6 Cabriolet has a hard time getting the power to the ground due to the immense amount of it, but once the tires do find a piece of pavement to adhere to, HOLD ON! Even with 295-width rear tires, it is so easy to send the car into power oversteer in M Dynamic Mode (MDM, which reduces the amount of interference from the car’s stability and traction control systems). BMW claims the M6 Cabriolet will hit 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.