The young blokes – late teens, exuding the studied air of training-for-gang-warfare nonchalance as only they can – stopped chucking the football long enough to stare open-mouthed at the M6 convertible as I snuck through my favourite southern Sydney rat run.
This review was originally published in MOTOR’s June 2007 issue
This’ll be interesting, I think, on gestures for me to wind down the window. “Mate, that is one unreal car! That’s so sick!” he exclaims loudly and excitedly, nudging his equally enthused buddy. Gotta be honest; that’s not the reaction I was expecting…
Of all the cars on the BMW roster at the moment, it’s a dead-set surprise to see just how positively the yoof of today engage with this unashamedly ostentatious drop-top. Is it the concept car-look 19-inch deeply offset rims? Or The OC-spec white leather interior? Wouldn’t mind betting it’s the yowl from the quad exhausts…
No prizes for guessing that the M6 convertible comes courtesy of a hot-axe job on the current-shape M6 coupe derivative. The powertrain is identical, as is the front strut/multi-link rear suspension set-up, save for a softer setting on the three-stage electronic dampers.
The front seats are new and the glass architecture is neatly arranged so that the rear window is an independently powered pane that can be raised as a wind deflector.
The new three-layer ragtop should be pretty indestructible, too; “I tell you, we were going more the 300km/h on the autobahn and the roof was perfect!” exclaimed a senior BMW PR type at a dinner prior to the car’s launch last year as the boss of M division, Professor Ulrich Brunke, shook his head.
Better back in the day on classic MOTOR
The other big change is the addition of just over 200kg in reinforcement, leaving the most expensive BMW in the catalogue flirting with the two-tonne mark.
It’s surprising, then, that this tribute to Euro cafe culture goes as hard as it does. It loses the angriest edge of the coupe’s bluff and muscular talent, but it’s impressively far from a scuttle-shaking, understeering showpony.
Punch the M button on the steering wheel and the lumbering cruiser turns into a lithe bruiser, delivering front grip, roll control and powerdown in impressive spades. Scuttle shake is minimal, but the tradeoff is restricted visibility around the tree trunk-sized a-pillars. But the noise... oh dear Lord, the noise....
There’s no doubt that the 4999cc V10 will never find a better place to impress, at least aurally. As with the Z4 M Roadster, the M6 Convertible’s mission in life is a little confusing until the roof is lowered. The metal-edged shriek tinged with an induction roar worth bottling is perfectly suited to this study in concentrated consumerism.
The same criticisms about lack of rear seat room apply to the Convertible (two adults, one child, doesn’t compute), and its profile with the roof up is ‘interesting’, as my mum would say. Still, with every M6 ragtop snapped up until next year, it’s obvious that flash still sells.
2007 BMW M6 convertible
Engine: 4999cc V10, DOHC, 40v
Power: 373kW @ 7750rpm
Torque: 520Nm @ 6100rpm
0-100km/h: 4.8sec (claimed)
Top Speed: 250km/h (claimed)
Likes: What an engine, doesn’t lose its poise with the lid off
Dislikes: Rear seat room nonexistant, people think you sell cocaine
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars