Specially developed tyres ensure that the prodigious horsepower and braking power are transferred to the road. Measuring 255/40ZR19 on the front and 285/35ZR19 on the rear, the tyres are mounted on lightweight five-spoke 19-inch forged aluminium wheels, each weighing 1.8kg less than a normal cast alloy wheel.
Like other 6 Series models, the new BMW M6 uses a hybrid construction of aluminium, thermoplastics and SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound). This mixture of materials delivers an extremely rigid, yet light, body structure. The front wings are made of thermoplastics, the doors and bonnet of aluminium and the boot lid, SMC. Like the legendary M3 CSL, but unlike the 630i and 645Ci, the new BMW M6 also uses carbon fibre in the construction of the roof panel to reduce the weight yet further - this feature alone saves nearly 5kg and contributes towards the overall weight of just 1710kg.
Visually, the new M6 differentiates itself from the 6 Series by a deeper front valance with air intakes for the engine and brakes, more contoured sills and rear valance that includes a diffuser to increase aerodynamic efficiency. Nestling under the rear valance are BMW M’s telltale four rear exhaust pipes. To complement the changes in body styling, the new M6 is available in four exclusive M colours – Indianapolis Red, Sepang Bronze, Interlagos Blue and Silverstone alongside three other 6 Series colours.
Inside, the new M6 comes with fully adjustable M sports seats that include lumbar support and an adjustable backrest width as standard. They are covered in extended Merino leather, with the owner able to choose between Black, Silverstone or Sepang. As an option, full Merino leather can be specified in Indianapolis Red and Portland Natural Brown alongside the other three colours that includes a leather covered dashboard and Alcantara headlining.
The new BMW M6 also features BMW M’s version of the new Head-up Display system. Unlike the standard Head-up Display available on 5 and 6 Series models that offers navigation instructions and cruise control information, the system on the M6 projects driver-focussed information such as engine speed, gear selected and road speed directly into the driver’s view, obviating the need for the driver to take his or her eyes off the road ahead.
The new M6 will go on sale towards the end of 2005. Dates and prices will be announced in due course.Published 15 December 2004