2012 BMW M6 Convertible Road Test Review

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Okay, let's just get this said right off the top and be done with it. The 2012 BMW M6 Convertible is a very fast car. Outrageously fast, blindingly fast, and yes-if employed improperly-insanely fast. You can say 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds all day long, but until you sit behind the wheel, stomp the throttle and feel those huge accelerative forces building for yourself, it's all just words and numbers. To really understand it, you have to be there.

Here's what happens. Applying full throttle from a standing start, the BMW's instant power delivery urgently shoves your body deeply into the plush merino leather seat. The road ahead of you then turns into one long streak of diminishing width-it's wide where you are, but appears extremely narrow in the distance. However, this optical illusion is no cause for concern because "in the distance" is converted to "where you are" almost instantaneously.

But here's the ironic part. Even though the speedometer says you're going very fast, the scenery around you has morphed into one long blur, and the G forces pressing you into your seat solidly support the instrument's assertion, the car itself feels almost bored. In other words, even though all hell is breaking loose outside the M6 Convertible, inside the BMW it feels like the most natural thing in the world is occurring.

Here, let us hasten to add this is with the convertible top deployed. Were the roof folded, the violence of the slipstream would absolutely inform you of your velocity. But with the multilayered, carbon-spined top unfurled, the BMW M6 Convertible hungrily devours distance in a deceptively casual manner.

Many will be tempted to call the BMW M6 Convertible a sports car, and while it most certainly can hold its own against the finest sports cars ever built, its luxurious features, considerable heft, and sophisticated styling flat screams Grand Touring car. The 2012 BMW M6 Convertible does not demand undue sacrifices in exchange for its extraordinary performance potential. This is a car you will use to travel extreme distances at very high speeds and arrive rested.

In contrast to its predecessor, which employed a screaming 500-horsepower, 5.0-litre Formula 1 inspired V10 engine with an 8,200 rpm redline-but only 383 foot-pounds of torque-the 2012 BMW M6 Convertible uses a 560-horsepower, 4.4-litre twin turbocharged V8 producing 500 foot-pounds of torque with a 7,200 rpm redline. This change absolutely informs the differences in the personalities of the two cars. Where the previous M6 was loud, edgy and demanded high revs to produce its performance, this current M6, by comparison is-well, let's put it like this: the old M6 was incendiary like say, Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark. The new M6 is singularly more powerful, yet its delivery is more confidently measured. Think Marlon Brando's quietly composed omnipotence playing the godfather, Don Vito Corleone.

Now, even though the M6 Convertible weighs 2,000-plus kilos, and even though we've told you it's more GT car than out and out sports car, don't leave with the impression that it's all about going fast in a straight line. You can absolutely have big fun on a serpentine strip of asphalt with the new M6 Convertible. Yes, it's powerful and it's heavy, and it's a front engine/rear drive car. Overcook it going into a turn and you'll get mild plow, nail the throttle too hard coming off that turn and the rear end will try to break loose. However, BMW, notorious for its electronic nannies, has a myriad of acronyms in place to either prevent, or permit, as much of this behaviour as you'd like.

The seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission is brilliantly programmed and is always in the right gear to surf the crest of the engine's torque wave. Of course, given the fact the dual turbo powerplant delivers its maximum torque at a mere 1,500 rpm, this perhaps isn't so much a feat of brilliant engineering as it is a case of a really good transmission being paired with the right engine. And, when it's time to arrest those developments, the 2012 M6 Convertible's outstanding braking system does so with outstanding purpose.

Brilliantly capable, palatially equipped and enormously good-looking, the 2012 BMW M6 Convertible combines outstanding performance and a hedonistic degree of luxury with everyday usability. It instantly became one of the most desirable cars in the world the moment the first example rolled off the assembly line.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, BMW, 2012, M6 Convertible, $99,999+,

Organizations: BMW

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