The New BMW M6 | Part Two (2004)

BMW M6

BMW 6 Series

Powered by the same 4,999cc engine that set new standards in the M5, the 507bhp power output ensures that the new M6 maintains the M car tradition of breaking the 100bhp per litre benchmark. Peak power is developed at 7,750rpm with the red line set at 8,250rpm. Peak torque of 520Nm is developed at 6,100rpm of which 450Nm is available from just 3,500rpm. The 90-degree V10 aluminium-silicon alloy engine block is extremely light yet robust and is the first V-arrangement engine to use a bedplate construction. The aluminium bedplate with cast-iron inlays ensures the engine’s rigidity throughout the rev range, but the complete unit still weighs just 240kg.

The capable chassis of the new M6 permits lateral acceleration in excess of 1g. To cope with such forces, the V10 engine features a lateral force-controlled oil supply that, from 0.6g of lateral movement, activates one of two electronic oil pumps to draw oil from the cylinder head and delivers it back into the sump to ensure perfect lubrication even in the most extreme situations. It is because of the extreme forces that can be induced by the M6 that the car also makes use of a semi dry sump lubrication system with an oil reservoir on each side of the front subframe.

Masterminding all the M6’s engine electronics is one of the most advanced engine control systems ever developed. The MS S65 control unit coordinates all engine functions using three 32-bit processors that handle more than 200 million operations per second from over 50 incoming signals. Each of the 10 cylinders has its own throttle butterfly, with its position being monitored 200 times per second. Reacting to changes in throttle position, the butterfly can move from closed to fully open in a mere 120 milliseconds (approximately three times faster than the blink of an eye).

Like the M5, the new M6 also uses BMW’s new third-generation seven speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) with Drivelogic. Drivelogic offers the choice of 11 different change patterns, depending on the speed of change required. Six change patterns are available in the manual mode and five in the ‘automatic’ mode, in which the gearbox will automatically select the most appropriate gear depending on driving conditions.

The new SMG gearbox also offers safety benefits when downshifting on slippery surfaces. If it detects the rear wheels locking up, the clutch opens for a fraction of a second to ensure traction is maintained. Hill Detection is another SMG feature. In automatic mode, the SMG gearbox recognises that the car is travelling on an incline and holds gears uphill to maintain acceleration and selects lower gears when progressing downhill to make the most of the available engine braking.

The suspension of the new M6 is based on the ‘standard’ 645Ci geometry. With the exception of components such as tie bars, wheel mounts and bearings, the double-arm spring strut front axle is made completely of aluminium. The U-shaped front subframe houses the rack and pinion steering assembly, anti-roll bar and track control arms.

BMW M6 | Part Three
Published 15 December 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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