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BMW’s New Math, M3 Times Two Equals M6
BMW has built some of the finest sports cars over the last thirty years. More recently they have been in hot pursuit to do something special now that Mercedes-Benz is selling AMG versions of most Mercedes models in dealer showrooms. Their latest Bavarian dream machine the 2007 M6 will definitely draw some attention. It would be wise to start putting away a little each month now in anticipation of May 2006 when BMW will actually start delivering these cars. Although it will cost slightly over $100,000 it will be the least expensive car on the road, besides its sibling the M5, to actually include an F1 modified engine. Sure the Ferrari Enzo has one, the Maserati MC12, the Lamborghini Murcielago and the Porsche Carrera GT, but each of these cars cost over $300,000.
BMW calls their 5.0 liter V10 the very first high revolution engine to be put in a mass produced car, with it’s redline of 8,250 it is certainly impressive. The Formula One version redlines at more then twice that but requires earplugs to drive. The Amazing thing about this redline is how easy it is to reach. The car will just buzz along happily all day at 8,000 rpm’s, this more then anything else gives this car that race bred feeling.
There will be many comparisons made between the BMW M series and the Mercedes-Benz AMG line over the next couple of years. The AMG line has many models, so it is easier to do a blanket comparison, the BMW M series cars seem to be more of a total package. The Mercedes AMG cars feel more like great cars with turbo kits strapped on. The AMG line is still a good deal for Mercedes, this is because, those cars tend to sell at close to list while many Mercedes models sell at discounts as high as 9 or 10 percent. What truly separates the M6 from even the S65 AMG is the M3. The M3 has been the standard for sports sedans for more then 20 years. This tradition can be experienced in a super-sized version called the 2007 M6.
The interior of the M6 is quite spacious upfront. There is more then a foot of width between the driver and the front passenger. There is plenty of leather and a certain seriousness that you don’t get in most $100,000 luxury cars. Instead of wood panels on the dash you get plastic or metal. The steering wheel is thick and the dials have an all business look. There is more space in the back seat then A Porsche 911 but like all two door cars you have to get to the back seat first.
What makes The M6 faster then the M5 is a no stone unturned approach to weight reduction. The wheels are forged aluminum, saving 4 pounds each, and there is only a patch kit, no spare tire at all. The front side panels, bumpers and trunk lid are all composite plastic. The final weight of 3,771 might sound like a lot but the M5 with identical engine and a weight of 4,035 has produced sub 4 second 0-62mph. BMW included a launch feature that, by computer control will only allow you one launch every 3 minutes, each launch will send your car flying down the street shifting gears and flooring the pedal until you hit the breaks. This is the most radical feature on any car out there. This feature turns an incredibly high performance car into a rocket. In reality it is a show off feature, you take the boss out for a drive, launch the car and refuse to hit the breaks until he gives you a raise. This car will hit 142 mph in fourteen seconds flat. If you haven’t gotten your raise by then its only because; either your boss figures if you can afford this car you don’t need a raise or he wants to save the money he would use for your raise to get his own M6. If you’re wondering about that 0-62 mph time, BMW officially states 4.5 seconds, which is identical to the Mercedes- Benz AMG E55’s factory stated time.
Turning the M6 into a convertible model will not be as difficult as for most models. This is because the M6 is initially built as a convertible with a non-removable roof. The car comes with a plastic-carbon fiber roof that weighs about ½ of what a traditional roof weighs. Besides a savings of 55% of the roof weight the lowering of roof weight directly lowers the center of gravity. A lower center of gravity translates into greater handling and control. In no other category does the M6 exceed the M5 more, with a 2 full inch difference in their respective centers of gravity.
The M5’s will be available by September 2005, and that car clearly is a step up from the M3 that put BMW on the map as the company that builds the best sports sedans. The only reasons to hold out for another 8 months for a M6 are; you really don’t need the two extra doors, you think the M6 looks better, or your cousin just ordered an M5 and you can’t wait to see the look on his face when you pull up in your new M6 into his driveway.
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