Certain vehicles garner attention simply on style and appeal alone. Others manifest their reputation from performance characteristics and thorough engineering. Then you have that group whose cachet is contrived from historical reputation. So what happens when you comingle all three characteristics into one super car? Pure bliss in the form of the 2012 BMW M6 Convertible.
First introduced in 2006, the ultra-elite convertible receives its DNA from the 1972 3.0 CS Coupe. And though it’s German born and bred, the amenities of the new M6 make it quite fitting for super heroes like Captain America. When you’re behind the wheel of an M car something magnificent transpires in your blood and lets loose euphoria that’s not so easy to obtain elsewhere. Well, maybe in an F-15 fighter. Yet you could easily say the M6 Convertible is most fitting for an Avenger or superhero. I certainly felt like one during the initial press drive in Santa Barbara, California a few weeks ago.
The original M6 came to fruition in 1987 with a 256-horsepower in-line 6-cylinder engine. Some years later the first M6 Convertible was released with an industry-awakening 500-horsepower V10 motor. It maintained a 4-year lifespan from 2006 to 2010. Today’s M6 Convertible is derived from the base 6-Series Convertible which has pronounced character lines, sits lower and is a bit more defining in profile. Of course this is the fastest convertible BMW has built to date, yet it’s also refined and adds the classic touch of luxury you see in British sports cars and convertibles. The materials utilized in the cabin are welcoming and the technological features are state-of-the-art.
Let’s begin with the very essence of any M vehicle: the engine. The technically updated 4.4-liter V8 is borrowed from the explosive X5 M and X6 M SUVs and also sees duty in the new M5. Fuel consumption has been reduced by 23 percent over the previous gen M6, and a 34-percent highway mileage improvement means 422 miles from an enlarged fuel tank to optimize range, while borrowing Auto Start/Stop from the current M3. The innovative V8 also features twin-turbocharging and generates 560 horsepower helping to accelerate the M6 Convertible from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Other notable M features for this vehicle include a newly designed M steering wheel with M shift paddles; M Head Up Display; signature M instrumentation cluster; M specific upholstery; and M multi-contour seats that are very supportive. A black carbon trim interior is standard with several wood options available.
My favorite technology, however, is iDrive, which remains exactly as is on the base 6 Series with a 10.2” display and the multifaceted BMW Apps and ConnectedDrive. Here you can pair your smart phone so the vehicle can run Facebook and Twitter, show your calendar and play Pandora playlists. It also has Google search that sends query results directly to the BMW navigation and puts you on course. What’s also satisfying is the audible euphoria, which resonated from the optional 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound system. It’s one thing to have concert sound in a sedan or coupe, but when you drop the soft top in about 19 seconds, then all eyes and ears are on you.
Onlookers will instantly notice your M6 Convertible by way of its hallmark blue M calipers. The 2012 M6 Convertible is a superhero in its own right. It’s a bit heavy at 4,508 pounds, but at $113,995, it’s a bit lighter on your checkbook than a Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG.
Haute Auto curator Kimatni Rawlins is the founder of Automotive Rhythms Communications, LLC (AR), a multi-national lifestyle firm that blends evaluations of the latest cars, trucks, SUVs, and bikes around music, fashion, travel and technology. Consisting of Internet, print, radio, network TV, online video and event properties, AR is a multi-media and marketing gateway for receiving real time data and information on new rides, car shows, vehicle technology, green energy projects, customization, motorsports, celebrity profiles and auto lifestyle experiences. www.automotiverhythms.com @ARtvKimatni
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