2012 BMW M6 Convertible Preview

BMW-M6-Convertible-2012_rev The very first BMW M6 showed up in 1983, and sported an engine borrowed by the extremely rare BMW M1, the only mid-engined sports car ever produced by the Bavarians.

The E24 M6 was produced until 1989 and approximately 5,900 examples were produced, most of which came to North America.

It wasn't until 2006 that the M6 badge had once again found itself on a BMW. This M6 was based on the E63/E64 6 Series platform, and was offered as both a coupe and a convertible. This generation of M6 had a 5.0L V10 engine which produced 507 hp and was mated to a seven-speed, paddle-shift gearbox called SMG.

This model was praised for its performance and luxury features, and hence found quite a lot of customers. In its brief four-year production run, a total of just over 9,000 coupe (E63) and just over 5,000 convertible (E64) M6s were produced.

While there was a 17-year production gap between the first- and second-generation M6 models, buyers thankfully won't have to wait that long for the next M6 model.

The 2012 BMW M6 is slated to arrive this summer and will be first launched as a convertible model, with the coupe following a few months later. It's based on the new 6 Series coupe and convertible platform (F12/F13), and hence would benefit from all its latest technologies, starting with the new engine.

This new generation of the M6 will use a 4.4L, twin-scroll, twin-turbocharged V8 motor, which produces 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

Power will be transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated transmission, which is not only much smoother than the previous single-clutch system, but delivers much faster shifts.

A quicker gearbox and a more powerful engine equals to a faster car. BMW claims that this new M6 can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

To keep the car on the tarmac, the new M6 comes equipped with an Active M Differential and an updated Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. The new system not only works to make your journey safer, but also has settings like its M Dynamic Mode (MDM) to allow you to have some fun when you are in the mood, or at the track.

To bring this 4,500-lb (2045-kg) car to a halt, the M6 has 15.7" brake discs at the front, and 15.6" discs at the rear.

While the new M6 has impressive performance stats, it also has a responsible side. Hence all M6s will come equipped with an automatic start/stop feature which will shut the engine off at red lights and start it again as soon as you release the brake pedal.

This not only reduces greenhouse gasses produced by the car, but also helps it achieve decent fuel economy. BMW rates the new M6 at 13.2L/100km in the city and 8.6L/100km on the highway.

As one would expect from a luxury sports car, the new M6 also comes very well equipped. Hence you get a power retractable top, 10-way power adjustable M Sport seats, and a 10.3", high-resolution LCD infotainment screen. Plus all the other usual comfort and convenience features.

As for options, BMW Canada is still working out what will be offered as standard and what will be offered as an optional extra. The pricing of the car and its options are hence not available at this time, but expect a base MSRP of over $120,000.

The sleek new M6 Convertible will go on sale by this summer.